Having recently returned from working the 22nd annual National No-Tillage Conference with my No-Till Farmer colleagues, I am still digesting the abundance of information shared by speakers, sponsors and attendees.

With attendance topping 1,000 for the second year in a row, there was a fair share of strip-tillers who made the trip to Springfield, Ill., this year. Listening to several strip-till-focused presentations and talking with attendees, it was clear that their focus is on the future and particularly, making better use of precision farming technology.

More than a few questions were asked about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles to scout fields and more specifically, their potential to record corn-stalk counts, which could be used to better manage seeding populations.

Others asked about the value of implement guidance technology, with the consensus response being that RTK accuracy is good enough… for now.

One of the hotter topics was precision data management and how farmers can leverage the information to simplify and improve their strip-till operation. For many, tapping the potential of data is still a mystery, but Newton, Iowa, strip-tiller Will Cannon shared his advice on the value of precision data.

With many companies pushing toward wireless transfer and cloud-based storage of data, strip-tillers will be well-suited to take advantage of the technology, he says.

This is important for strip-tillers because it will let them manage their guidance lines, Cannon says. When setting A-B lines with GPS, if they change, evolve or need to be amended, that information will automatically be updated to the other displays.

“I can speak firsthand with strip-till that managing those lines and that data, and moving it between the strip-till tractor and the planter, can be really aggravating,” Cannon says. “With wireless transfer, that can be done over cell-phone networks, so if farmers have tablets or a wireless device, or even smartphones, they have the basics needed for a lot of what will be needed in the future.”

What precision technology are you most interested in to improve your strip-till operation? Call me at (262) 782-4480, ext. 441, or send me an e-mail at jzemlicka@lesspub.com.