After reading the request for reports on fuel efficiency in the last issue of Strip-Till Strategies, Minnesota strip-tiller Rod Sommerfield shared this good news.
Sommerfield farms 35 miles southeast of Northfield, Minn., and uses a 12-row Red Ball stripper set to 30-inch spacings, pulled with a 245-horsepower tractor and Flexicoil air cart behind the strip-till unit for fertilizer application. His fuel usage for the rig has been running at 0.75 to 0.90 gallons an acre.
“Our total diesel-fuel use for corn from strip-tilling, through harvest, averages 4 gallons per acre. Our no-till soybeans average 3 gallons per acre,” he says. “The combine will use less with soybeans, while no-till planting and more sprayer trips will take extra fuel compared to strip-tilled corn.”
Another reason for strip-tilling is to take advantage of the benefits that conservation practices offer. How has strip-tilling your crops — whether you grow corn, soybeans, sugarbeets, cotton or other crops — affecting the health of the soil? If you’ve seen less erosion, increases in organic matter and/or improved tilth, let me know in the comments below.