Posted 8/2/2007 01:16 (#181699 - in reply to #181324) Subject: RE: Midwest Striptill Expo
Blue Earth, MN
I believe it comes down to amount of available resources is why most strip till manufacturers haven't came out with the complete package. Too much R and D and essentially probably most manufacturers have the "do what you know best and do it well" attitude. A few are now offering a complete package by partnering with a manufacturer of fertilizer application equipment.
The two strip pass that is often associated with soil warrior has its usefullness in certain climates and soil types. As you are well aware, fall strip is the traditional approach. However, there have been issues where the fall strips by the following spring are crusted over with hard, dry soil, and wet underneath the surface. What we have noticed is if one can "freshen" that fall strip, it helps dry it out, introduce air back into the strip, and really accelerate the temperature in the strip (fall strips are usually 4-7 degrees warmer then between the strips, the spring strips will increase that to 7-12 degrees warmer). To me the ability to manage moisture is the most important of those factors...that is something that is hard to do with fall strips only (especially in heavier soils in colder climates). Usually fall strips are a very nice to plant into, just as long as they are dry enough. Another reason is the two pass splits up your fertilizer application so it isn't such a burden on a persons time if trying to put a bunch of dry fertilizer on in the spring and the neighbors have most of their corn in. If the P and K can be put on in the fall, and the N on in the spring (as liquid) that really spreads the labor out over the two seasons. The two pass operation I think really pays in corn on corn, maybe not so much corn on beans, and beans--either spring strip or no till. With a coulter based strip till unit, the fuel used in two passes is often comparable to a knife in one pass.
The data that was presented by Mahdi Al-Kaisi essentially showed that Fall strip tillage is competitive to conventional tillage (both corn on corn and corn on beans) in every part of Iowa except the North central. The heaviest, coldest soils are in the NC part of the state and there could certainly be some economic gains with a spring pass as well.
I've even talked to a few farmers from the Fargo, ND area who perform a fall strip pass applying their fertilizer with RTK GPS systems. They then come back in the spring and run the field cultivators about 2" deep to DRY out that top profile where the planter is running. The RTK puts them close to the fertilizer zone.