Cover Crops

Uncover the latest information on different species of cover crops and their benefits; tips on the equipment used to seed them; and how strip-tillers are using covers on their farm operation to improve their strip-till systems.

ARTICLES

Mixing Tillage & Nutrient Timing to Save, Strengthen Soil

A switch to strip-till at Rotenberger Farms has proven pivotal to residue and moisture management

Within the 10-mile radius where father-and-son Doug and Steve Rotenberger farm, field variation is vastly understated. Across their 3,500 acres are sandy, high drainage soils along the east to heavier, gumbo-type soils encompassing most of the west.


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To Make Cover Crops Fit, a Little Space Makes a Big Difference

Through improvements to his implement guidance and air seeder setup, Chapin, Ill., farmer John Werries finds the cure for cover crop overgrowth and accuracy missteps.
John Werries, his son Dean, and one employee are no strangers to making adjustments year-to-year to combat the unpredictable conditions of their Chapin, Ill., operation of no-tilled beans and strip-tilled corn.
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2018 National Strip-Tillage Conference Speaker

Cover Crops & Strip-Till: A Profitable Partnership

Experienced Iowa strip-tiller Jack Boyer to discuss how cover cropping diversity, combined with a comprehensive strip-till system can capture nitrogen and stabilize yields at the 2018 National Strip-Tillage Conference.
Experienced Iowa strip-tiller Jack Boyer to discuss how cover cropping diversity, combined with a comprehensive strip-till system can capture nitrogen and stabilize yields at the 2018 National Strip-Tillage Conference.
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Talking Transition & Strategic Experimentation in Strip-Till

A diverse group of experienced strip-tillers sit down to discuss their evolution in equipment, fertility and cover cropping practices.
During the 26th annual National No-Tillage Conference in Louisville, we gathered several strip-tillers for a candid conversation about the origins of their system, and some of the transformational lessons they’ve learned along the way.
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PRODUCTS

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Structuring a Strip-Till Fertility Program: Lessons Learned & Goals Achieved - Donn Branton - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Constantly evaluating the form, rates and placement of nutrients can make the difference between profitability and not farming at all. This is a philosophy that strip-tiller Donn Branton and his son, Chad, subscribe to on their 1,500-acre operation in LeRoy, N.Y., since adopting the strip-tillage more than 12 years ago. Deep placement of fertilizer, multiple nitrogen applications and nutrient management trials have contributed to a 40-bushelper-acre boost in some corn fields. “Every decision we make on the farm is an investment,” Branton says. “We’ve stuck with strip-till, cover crops and other practices because they improve our soil, yields, the environment and our bottom line.” Branton will share results of on-farm nutrient management experimentation and detail his strategies for improving your yields and soil health with a conservation-minded fertility program.

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Building Soil Health & Structure with a Bio Strip-Till System - Dustin Mulock - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

For the last 10 years, Woodville, Ont., strip-tiller Dustin Mulock has been building and refining a combination no-till/strip-till system. Integrating different pieces of equipment, fertility methods and cover crops put him on a productive path to bio strip-till. This approach complements his twin-row, strip-till setup for corn and soybeans and has helped increase yields by 25%, while also naturally building nutrient levels in his mostly sandy loam soil. Mulock will detail the development and results of his bio strip-till system, to include fertilizer application equipment modifications and experimentation with more than a dozen different cover crop species.

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Putting Together a Practical Game Plan for Adding Cover Crops in Strip-Till - Trent Sanderson - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Incorporating cover crops in strip-till is an increasingly popular part of a comprehensive system. But selecting the most beneficial varieties or mixes along with the most practical seeding methods can be a challenge. Clare, Ill., strip-tiller Trent Sanderson has utilized cover crops for several years on his family’s 2,000-acre operation, and recently started his own cover-crop seed dealership. He will discuss the soil and nutrient retention benefits of his experimentation with cover cropping methods in strip-till to include interseeding cereal rye with a homemade machine.

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Stacking Up Nutrient Stewardship Benefits with Strip-Till - David Myerholtz - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Farming in an area that drains directly into the Western Lake Erie Basin, Gibsonburg, Ohio, striptiller David Myerholtz intensively manages nutrient application on his 1,500-acre corn, soybean and wheat operation. With an emphasis on the 4Rs of nutrient management, he’s adapted cover crops, split nitrogen applications and variable-rate fertilizing to reduce erosion and runoff. Myerholtz will share his experience and evolution with developing a comprehensive fertility program based on the four cornerstones of nutrient management in strip-till.

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Creating a Biological Architecture for Strip-Till Success - Tim Smith - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Building a sustainable strip-till system and strengthening soil structure are cornerstones of Tim Smith’s corn and soybean operation in Eagle Grove, Iowa. A commitment to the NRCS’s Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) has helped Smith limit erosion, reduce fertilizer application costs and increase equipment and fuel efficiency. “The biggest return with strip-till is greatly reduced soil loss,” he says. “My soil holds up better in adverse conditions by having more residue on top to preserve structure.” Smith will share how the addition of cover crops, refinements to his nutrient management practices and the introduction of a bioreactor have contributed to a comprehensive strip-tilling strategy.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Choosing & Implementing the Right Cover Crops for a Strip-Till System - Joel Gruver - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Since 2007, Dr. Joel Gruver has been a professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture in the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. He’s conducted intense research tied to cover crop usage in conservation-tillage systems and organic grain production. Gruver will focus on the integration of cover crops within strip-tillage systems and explore key opportunities and challenges based on recent research results and the experiences of innovative farmers using both strip-till and cover crops. He will also discuss the impact of cover crops on nutrient availability and soil moisture dynamics within strip-tillage systems and also consider the compatibility of cover crops with current strip-till technology and potential new technologies.

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2014 Speaker Presentations

Examining Various Cover-Cropping Methods With Strip-Till - Kelly Cooper - NSTC 2014 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Kelly Cooper will share the cover-cropping experiences of strip-tillers within the Conservation Cropping System Project. The project manager from Forman, N.D., will share a number of practices, including both traditional cover cropping and a form of biological strip-till where radishes and peas are planted in 30-inch rows to create a natural strip to plant into in an effort to reduce in-row erosion. View

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