At first, Michigan farmer Jim Millett liked using the Rawson zone system for planting corn, but he found the weather didn’t always cooperate.

When strip-till machines became available in the late 1990s, Millett and his father demoed two strip-till rigs before choosing a Progressive machine.

One of the things Millett likes about strip-till is how it warms up the soil and enhances the emergence of corn seedlings. He’s been so happy with the results that he isn’t looking back — only forward.

“I am not going back to tillage!” Jim told me during an interview at his Bailey, Mich., farm.

The connection between strip-till, emergence and corn yield was explored in depth in the last issue of Strip-Till Strategies.

This issue of Strip-Till Strategies also includes an article from Purdue University corn agronomist Bob Nielsen on the importance of emergence in corn and how you can improve results. While they live and work in different states, Millett, Kimberley and Nielsen all agree that it takes a systematic approach to optimize corn yields.

Whether you’re strip-tilling before planting corn this spring, or planting corn and/or soybeans into strips you made last fall or during the very warm winter, share your information and photos on how planting is coming along in the comments below.