June is not typically when strip-tillage is on the mind of most farmers, however with the earlier than normal wheat harvest (I saw the first field of Wheat harvested this year on June 15th), and the wet and tight ground conditions we experienced last fall and this winter, now is a good time to begin thinking about the “total systems approach” of a strip-tillage system with fertilizer application.
On Wednesday, August 22nd, Widmer and Associates, and Orthman Mfg. will be hosting a strip-tillage bus tour in Northwest Ohio. While the specific details are still in the works, this would be a great event to make plans to attend to see a variety of strip-tillage programs at work in a variety of conditions. This is a change from the traditional field day that we often hold in August. This bus tour of Northwest Ohio strip-till fields has been planned in an effort to see what works and why given the unusual “stripping-season” we experienced last fall.
We will see traditional strip-tillage with shanks and knives both with and without fertilizer applied in the fall and also some stripping done in the spring. There are fields strip-tilled with a wavy coulter system in the spring both with and without fertilizer. There are some fields that were stripped in the fall with knives and then re-conditioned with the rolling wavy coulters in the spring. There are also some fields where beans were planted in 30″ rows on strips.
We often like to promote strip-tillage as a “total system” and not just a tool. This bus tour will give good evidence as to why this mindset is critical given the environment we have found our selves in this year.