Soil Health

View the secret underground world of soil livestock —including beneficial bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and earthworms — that are essential to building healthy soils and reducing your cost of production.

ARTICLES

Getting Out of the Rut with Cover Crop Interseeding, Weed Suppression

Strip-tiller and no-tiller Tom Cotter is boosting the value of his soils in the heart of the Corn Belt by putting the iron away and keeping his fields covered and active year round.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with farming, but that’s a major reason Tom Cotter did the opposite of that and turned to no-tilling, strip-tilling and interseeding cover crops to rejuvenate his farm.
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[Podcast] Pairing Nutrients with Need to Achieve High Yielding Corn

In this <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> Podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by Jeff Herrold of Herrold Farms near Wanatah, Ind. who shares his experience-based tips and techniques for making applied nutrients work to achieve high-yielding strip-tilled corn.
In this Strip-Till Farmer Podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by Jeff Herrold of Herrold Farms near Wanatah, Ind. who shares his experience-based tips and techniques for making applied nutrients work to achieve high-yielding strip-tilled corn.
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[Podcast] Getting to Know Your Strip-Tilled Soil: Strengths and Weaknesses

In this <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> Podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by expert soil scientist Mike Petersen, to answer the questions farmers might have about their strip-tilling efforts.
In this Strip-Till Farmer Podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by expert soil scientist Mike Petersen, to answer the questions farmers might have about their strip-tilling efforts.
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[Podcast] Overcoming Challenging Soils for Successful Strip-Till

In this <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> Podcast bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, Hilmar, Calif., farmer Aaron Wickstrom discusses his proven methods for conquering unfavorable soil conditions with strip-till, including split N applications and improving early emergence by minimizing risk with a wider planting window.
In this Strip-Till Farmer Podcast bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, Hilmar, Calif., farmer Aaron Wickstrom discusses his proven methods for conquering unfavorable soil conditions with strip-till, including split N applications and improving early emergence by minimizing risk with a wider planting window.
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PRODUCTS

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Taking the Stress Out of Strip-Tilled Corn to Improve Yields - Jerry Hatfield - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Keeping plants healthy throughout the growing season is critical to a successful corn crop. But understanding and satisfying early season nutrient needs can help strip-tillers set the stage for a bumper crop. Jerry Hatfield, supervisory plant physiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has done extensive research on the interactions within the soil-plant-atmosphere spectrum and their connection to air, water and soil quality. Hatfield will discuss recent research that looks at the correlation between early-season nutrient applications on plant health in strip-tilled corn and its impact on yields.

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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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Increasing ‘Yieldability’ of Strip-Tilled Soybeans - Ryan Groholske - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Farming 1,800 acres in Tekonsha, Mich., strip-tiller Ryan Groholske is accustomed to navigating rocky — though fertile — ground with rewarding results. Having increased strip-tilled corn yields by as much as 50 bushels per acre in some areas through intensive fertilizer experimentation, Groholske has had success applying similar strategies to increase soybean production and profitability. “With strip-till, I have a raised berm, so the plants are higher than the rest of the ground, especially on top of that corn stubble, so we’re able to harvest the plants a little bit lower,” he says. Groholske will relate his strip-tilled soybean success to his overall farm management system that includes banded nutrient applications and extensive fertilizer application analysis.

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How Well Do You Know Your Strip-Till Soils? - Ray Archuleta - NSTC 2016 - MP3 Download

$19.95

With more than 25 years of field experience with the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ray Archuleta is widely regarded for his hands-on approach to analyzing and comparing soil health in a variety of tillage systems throughout the U.S. and overseas. Archuleta’s belief that promoting healthy strip-till soils requires following the lead of nature has solidified his reputation as a leading advocate for conservation tillage systems and earned him the nickname, ‘Ray the Soils Guy.’

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Taking a Continuous Approach to Strip-Tilled Corn-on-Corn - Mike Shuter - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Audio Download

$19.95

For some farmers, their early transition to strip-till conjures up fond memories of higher yields or improved fertilizer placement, while for others, building those first berms serves more as reminder of how far they’ve come in their operation. Looking back on a decade of striptilling, Mike Shuter recalls both the pains and the gains encountered on 2,500 acres of strip-tilled corn at Shuter Sunset Farms in Frankton, Ind.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Getting an Accurate Reading on Soil Heath with Strip-Till - Fabian Fernandez - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

University of Minnesota nutrient management specialist Fabian Fernandez understands the nutrient application flexibility that a strip-till system offers. His current research focuses on nutrient management in corn cropping systems and identifying and implementing sustainable nitrogen management practices aimed at minimizing environmental impacts and improving yields. Fernandez will compare nutrient management practices for strip-till and no-till and how to properly take soil samples to accurately represent the fertility of a field when banding fertilizer in the strip vs. a broadcast application.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Digging Into Long-Term Soil Health Benefits of Strip-Till - Tom Muller - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

An early adopter of strip-till in his area nearly 20 years ago, Windom, Minn., farmer Tom Muller understands that creating an ideal seedbed and limiting compaction in his silty clay loam soil is only a partial benefit of the practice. Farming 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans, he’s been able to virtually “drought proof” his fields through increased water-holding capacity and infiltration.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

Setting Strip-Till Goals to Match Field & Soil Conditions - Joey Hanson - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

Growing up on a small farm in southeastern South Dakota, Joey Hanson struggled with finding the right tillage fit for the operation. Strip-till proved to be the answer to consistent yields and targeted fertilizer placement. Custom strip-tilling several thousand acres into various soil types, topography and crop rotations, the Elk Point, S.D., farmer and consultant with Diversified Agronomy deals with plenty of variability and diversity with strip-tillers within their operations.

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NSTC Speaker Presentations

A Rooted Approach to Strip-Till Corn Productivity - Mike Petersen - NSTC 2015 - MP3 Download

$19.95

 Roots are the somewhat forgotten side of the corn plant, but it’s where more than 95% of nutrients are absorbed, stored or transported. 

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2014 Speaker Presentations

Maximizing Nutrient Uptake In The Root Zone, Balancing Soil & Minerals - Bob Yanda - NSTC 2014 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

Achieving proper soil fertility comes down to hitting the maximum level of nutrients that are exchangeable in the soil for optimal crop performance. This means nutrients are available in a form that the plant roots can absorb from the soil complex. Bob Yanda says the levels of nutrients are important, but it’s more critical that they be exchangeable to the root. View

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