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21. Strip-Till - Warren Schneckenburger


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From fertilizer management to coulters versus shanks, the “how to” from growers making it work! Ben Rosser, OMAFRA Panel: Warren Schneckenburger and Mike Schouten

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21. Strip-Till - Warren Schneckenburger

  1. 1. Strip-Till Warren Schneckenburger Cedar Lodge Farms @farmerschneck
  2. 2. Cedar Lodge Farms • Corn, Soybeans, W Wheat, Black beans • As much no-til as possible, strip tillage, some conventional tillage. • Used to have cattle.
  3. 3. The mind set • 2011, heavy corn “rotation” • heavy tillage • Plowing up to 2010
  4. 4. Why Striptill?
  5. 5. Why Striptill?
  6. 6. Why Striptill? • Stones!!! • Efficiency • Mostly labour efficiency • Natural evolution of a controlled traffic farming system • Significant reduction is COP for corn • Much less iron required…in theory
  7. 7. Scalable to any size! 24 Row planter (24-32ac/hr) 8 Row Planter (7-10ac/hr) 31-42ac/hr needs to be prepared each hour!
  8. 8. Out with the old • 500hp 51ft cultivator • 400hp 32ft cultivator • 200hp spreading fertilizer • 130hp picking stones • 4 people working at about 40-50ac/hr
  9. 9. In With The New • 35-42ac/hr • 1 person doing the work of 4 • 390hp vs 1330hp • ~45$/ac reduced costs
  10. 10. What about fall? • 40ft @ 9mph vs 21ft @ 6mph • 0.5L/ac fuel vs 2.5L/ac fuel • Seedbed ready vs spring tillage a must
  11. 11. What Do I want to see in a Strip? • In fall a 2” berm • Chunky structure with few fines • No soil outside of the berms • A messy strip with residue armour
  12. 12. Separating the Men from the Boys • Corn on corn is the white whale • If done properly can completely eliminate the yield penalty • High yielding corn means high yielding residue!
  13. 13. What about spring? • Spring pass shouldn’t leave much of a berm • Higher speeds till the soil much finer creating a “potting soil” seedbed • All residue out of the seedzone
  14. 14. Management Changes • Weed Management • Side dressing (high residue) • Covercrops
  15. 15. Weed Control • Very different weeds between the strip vs in the strip. • Perennials and more common “no-til” weeds add costs to our herbicide program. • Our incidence of respray in strip tillage is about 40% lower than conventional tillage.
  16. 16. Side Dressing • High residue environment means a high C:N ratio • Why did we bother banding all the fertilizer and leaving an untouched strip only to destroy it and fight the residue 1 month later?
  17. 17. Side Dressing
  18. 18. Side Dressing • Made the switch in 2017 to the nutraboss • Places nitrogen at the base of the plant away from residue • 120ft is FAST! 50ac/hr
  19. 19. Side Dressing
  20. 20. Side Dressing
  21. 21. Side Dressing
  22. 22. Challenges • The bigger the machine the more reliant on GPS it gets. • Keeping product fed to the rig • Residue management! • High Speed means high impacts!
  23. 23. GPS or Markers? • 6 row and below I believe you’d get along fine with markers. • We run dual receiver RTK on both the striptiller and the 24 row planter. • Handles all rate control, steering, mapping, automated turning.
  24. 24. GPS • Square headland patterns are a game changer for striptillers! • With this system a 100% green worker can get in and be working at 28ac/hr because of the assistance the GPS provides. Experience gets you up to 40+ac/hr
  25. 25. Soil Compaction • Striptillage eliminates a lot of in season seed zone compaction. • What about when you shift over 15” next year? • Sprayer…patience…what about 2017?
  26. 26. Soil Compaction • The sprayer is the number 1 offender of compaction on our farm. • 710 floater tires help, VF tires help. Still very heavy.
  27. 27. Soil Compaction • The easiest way to stop soil compaction is to avoid it. • Patience is the cheapest investment in your farm you’ll ever make! • Can be hard to do watching your neighbours mud everything off
  28. 28. Tendering Fertilizer • The whole house of cards falls down if the product stops flowing. • 6 hrs window between stripping and planting • Need to be flexible.
  29. 29. Fall Fertilizer • There is no line at the mixer in October! • Without putting down at least potash in the fall why bother?
  30. 30. Residue floating • Bigger issue in soybeans stubble than corn or wheat • Is the main reason for the spring pass.
  31. 31. The future? • Integrating cover crops ahead of corn without going broke! • Getting about 25% of the acres into a fall only strip program. • Experimenting with Spring only strips. • 10 year plan to transition to 100% no-til
  32. 32. The Future? • Figuring out the high residue farming thing! • Putting an end to full time stone picking jobs!!!!!!!
  33. 33. High Residue = High Rewards
  34. 34. Thank you!