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

The Science Behind Optical Sensing

For an agronomist like Ray Asebedo, the science behind optical sensor technology starts with the premise that plants are visual communicators that “speak” in wavelengths of light. Lush greens are usually indicators of good health, a sign of enough N in the soil system. Yellowing can signal stress.
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Sponsored Content: Building Healthier Soil and Profits with Strip-Till

Fall Tillage Incomplete? Try Spring Zone Tillage!

Many farmers across North America experienced less than desirable harvest conditions during 2018. Late harvest and excess moisture and/or early freezing conditions made fall fertilization and tillage impossible for many. If you were faced with challenging fall field conditions that prevented tillage and fertilizer placement, spring zone tillage may be your answer.
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[Podcast] Building Your First Berms: Lessons Learned from the Field

In this <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by Kentucky strip-tiller Joseph Sisk, who breaks down the successes and struggles in expanding his strip-till system, to include examples of his early-experiences adopting the practice.
In this Strip-Till Farmer podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by Kentucky strip-tiller Joseph Sisk, who breaks down the successes and struggles in expanding his strip-till system, to include examples of his early-experiences adopting the practice.
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What Caught Your Eye in 2018?

From cutting nutrient application costs to exploring the value of 60-inch strip-tilled corn, Strip-Till Farmer’s “most viewed” content during the last year highlighted the top trends and newsworthy moments.
The last year saw strip-tillers looking to improve efficiency in several areas, from intense nitrogen management practices to exploring alternative and experimental planting or fertilizing options.
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Sponsored Content: Improving Soil Health in the Zone

Managing Soil Health in Strip-Till Zones

When thinking about soil health, we often start with off-season management practices. These are good for on-farm long-term profitability and for maintaining a sustainable system. But are these practices actually improving soil health and nutrient uptake in your strip management zone?
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[Podcast] Saving Your Strip-Tilled Soil with Smart, Simple Strategies

In this <em>Strip-Till Farmer</em> podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by University of Minnesota regional extension educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes who details her recent research on quantifying the value of conservation tillage techniques as erosion-reducing tactics, including crop selection and tillage depths.
In this Strip-Till Farmer podcast, bought to you by Topcon Agriculture, we're joined by University of Minnesota regional extension educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes who details her recent research on quantifying the value of conservation tillage techniques as erosion-reducing tactics, including crop selection and tillage depths.
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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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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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