Reaping the Rewards from a Year of Hard Work and Planning for Success Next Year

by Kyle Frazier – Orthman Regional Product Specialist

With the 2015 harvest season upon us and with every producer eagerly watching the yield monitor to see what this year has produced, there is one common question that is being asked by almost everyone in the Eastern Corn Belt and that is “how severe is the water damage in the fields from a wet growing season”? Each and every producer I have spoken with talks about how well the yields are on high ground and how the yield falls off in the lower parts of the same field. The abundance of rainfall this year caused some very saturated field conditions throughout most of the growing season. With water infiltration being a problem this year, even though the focus may be on getting the crop out of the field, fall is the perfect time to start preparing for a successful 2016 growing season and improving water infiltration rates with your fall tillage program by using the proven technology of the Orthman 1tRIPr strip till system.

With Orthman’s three principles of successful strip till being optimal root zone conditioning, precision fertilizer placement, and ideal seedbed preparation, you are able to make one pass across the field after the combine and have it planter ready before spring. You may be wondering how this helps with the water infiltration issues that so many experienced this year. When you look at each principle individually, you can start to understand the benefits in more detail. With one of the principles being optimal root zone conditioning and a major factor limiting water infiltration rates being pore space and destruction of soil structure, less tillage passes across the field will allow for better soil structure and more pore space in the soil.

Side-by-side view of increased water infiltration with strip till; click to view larger.

Side-by-side view of increased water infiltration with strip till; click to view larger.

This will allow for higher water infiltration rates. When compared to a conventional tillage system that includes multiple passes across the field for tillage and seedbed preparation, where every pass is breaking apart the soil particles into smaller pieces and destroying the structure of the soil, the single pass of the 1tRIPr allows for more pore space and larger soil particles that improve water infiltration while still making an ideal seedbed.

A water infiltration rate measurement taken during the 2014 growing season in Atlantic, IA showed water will infiltrate the soil over two and a half times faster in a 1tRIPr system (5.51 inches/hour) verses a no-till system (2.08 inches/hour). A soil bulk density measurement taken at the same location shows a bulk density for the 1tRIPr system of 0.942 g/cm3 vs. no-till system of 1.416 g/cm3. Less bulk density represents less compaction in the soil. Decreased compaction and increased soil porosity allows for robust root growth and increased opportunities for water and nutrient uptake by the plant.

Side-by-side view of increased soil porosity; click to view larger.

Side-by-side view of increased soil porosity; click to view larger.

Soil porosity will directly affect soil aeration and water holding capacity, which in-turn affects root development and nutrient availability in the soil and all these factors will affect the end result of Yield.

So as you watch the rewards from your hard work being brought in from the fields this fall think about what you can do to raise the bar and prepare to raise a superior crop in 2016. The Orthman 1tRIPr strip till system is proven reliable with its three principle of successful strip till. Become more efficient and reap a better return on investment next year by using the 1tRIPr system, which has more acres under it around the world than any other system.

Strip-till Soybeans part 1

Soybeans receive benefits from strip-till practices

Soybeans receive benefits from strip-till practices (click to enlarge)

As commodity prices sit now, I hear talk about growers considering adding more soybean acres for 2015. And, with that, comes the question of whether strip-tillage benefits soybeans as well as corn. The simple answer, ABSOLUTELY! I’ll explain some of the details in the next few blog entries. First of all, the very basics. Strip-tilling beans is very common, as the beans receive the same benefits as corn from the process – ideal seedbed conditions, precision nutrient placement, and optimal rootzone conditions throughout the growing season. Western Iowa grower Tom Niewohner was interviewed by his local NRCS office, where he discusses strip-tilling soybeans to combat his biggest issues: drainage, compaction and springtime wind erosion- read the article here. In eastern Nebraska, StripTillFarmer.com interviewed grower Kevin Kucera about the benefits of placing dry fertilizer rather than broadcasting in their June 2014 edition: read the story here. Finally, from near the Michigan/Indiana lone – have a look at a strip-tilled soybean crop from our YouTube channel here.   Check back for more strip-till soybean info… until then… make a great week!

Getting started with precision Strip-Tillage

Much research exists showing the benefits of true, precision strip-tillage – including ideal seedbed conditions, precision nutrient placement, and optimal rootzone conditions. If you’re contemplating a test or even a switch to a strip-tillage system, have a look at some of these sources for info:

 

As always, we’d love to hear your specific questions too! Email randy.haarberg at orthman dot com.

Analyzing soil structure after strip-tilling

As fall tillage gets geared up, we want your pictures! I was asked what a grower should look for, so developed this list:

  • Run your 1tRIPr at the same field speed that you will be using for finishing the field.
  • Take a tile shovel or something similar, push straight down and pull out soil so you have a side view. Do this at 5 or 6 widths so you have cleaned a zone out wider than you have shattered with the 1tRIPr shank.
  • Clean out the soil by hand so you have a good side view, and smooth any shovel marks
  • Make sure you have gone deep enough to get to the bottom of your shank zone.

Some things to evaluate from the pit:

  • Look for a nice upside-down umbrella shape that is shattered
  • This shattered area should not have smeared sidewalls. Many other points leave a V shape with hard sidewalls that crop roots will not grow through; the 1tRIPr shank and point are made to leave a U shape without hard sidewalls.
  • You should be able to see just by looking that you have increased pore size. This is a key element for increasing infiltration rates.
  • You want to see increased pore size, but NOT any soil voids. Many times, minor adjustments with the wavy coulters will correct soil voids. Large soil voids can cause soil to dry out or to wash away, depending on weather conditions. I have seen berms that have looked good from above ground but below have large enough voids I can put my arm in!
  • Check how wide your wavy coulters are in comparison to root shatter zone. If the wavy coulters are wider than the shatter zone, you reduce the quality of job they will do for you.

Below is a photo taken by Horizon Equipment in western Iowa in the spring of 2014. In the photo you can see shatter zone, soil structure change and proper 1tRIPr use. Click the image to enlarge.

Soil pores

I would like to challenge others to dig and take photos of your mini soil pits! Farm name is optional but please include time of year, general location, type of fertilizer used, crop that you are going to plant, and other information that might be important and email to randyhaarberg at orthman dot com. Thanks again to Horizon Equipment for the photo above!

The Role of Strip-Tillage in Sustainable Agriculture

By RANDY HAARBERG, Precision Tillage Systems Agronomist, Orthman Manufacturing
Download a PDF copy of this file here.

Growers around the world are recognizing the value of true stewardship and conservation tillage methods. Many have begun to reassess their approach to farming and acknowledge that sustainability of the land will be a significant factor for agriculture in the future.

In the next 10 years, the world’s population will reach eight billion, and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Conservative estimates forecast growth in global food demand of at least 50 percent in the same period, even as global food production faces extraordinary challenges from rising temperatures, more severe floods and droughts and new pests and plant diseases. Experts conclude we must increase food production through higher plant productivity because we cannot count on adding more arable land.1

CONSERVATION TILLAGE
One of the ways growing numbers of farmers around the world are helping ensure the sustainability of their land for future generations is through conservation tillage practices such as no-till and strip-till. Conservation tillage leaves a large percentage of crop residue on the soil surface during the soil erosion periods that occur pre-plant, at emergence and after harvest. This slows wind and water movement, which reduces soil erosion and helps retain moisture within the soil. No-till techniques seek to retain 100 percent of the ground cover by planting seeds into a narrow strip cut by a coulter wheel; strip-till techniques intensively till the soil in narrow rows to prepare a seedbed, but leave the soil in between the rows undisturbed.

Both techniques benefit farmers by reducing the number of times a farmer needs to cross the field, thereby saving fuel and labor and reducing the compaction of the soil. Although no-till techniques can still require multiple passes, advances in strip-till equipment have reduced the number of trips across the field to as few as one, in which each strip is tilled, cultivated and fertilized immediately before seeds are placed by an integrated planting system.

ENHANCED PRODUCTION
Although there may be a small increase in erosion risk, one of the benefits of strip-till versus no-till is improved production. Cool, moist soil conditions are exacerbated by no-till techniques and can delay crop germination in the spring. Strip-tillage removes residue in the seed row, uncovering dark earth to absorb the sun’s energy and encourage much more rapid warming of the soil and therefore earlier and more robust germination.2

However, soil warmth is only one of a combination of factors important in improving yield that are addressed by modern strip-till equipment. Breaking up the soil in tilled rows allows an aerobic condition and creates an ideal seedbed, while eliminating compaction in the root zone improves conditions for early root development and creates an ideal environment throughout the growing season. Dry, liquid or NH3 fertilizer can be simultaneously applied only in these rows where the seed is being planted and at precisely determined depths to improve proximity of the fertilizer to the roots.

This precision in fertilizer placement creates new fertilizer options for producers that can have a positive effect on crop yield. According to AgProfessional.com, research in Kansas showed that when utilizing strip-till practices, producers can more effectively place nutrients directly below the seedbed to efficiently supply some of the crop’s nutrient requirements, particularly nutrients with limited mobility such as phosphorus and potassium where precise placement can make nutrients more available to seeds.3

The research showed that producers using strip-tillage significantly increased corn yields compared to no-till at several locations. For example, the average corn yield increase of strip-till over no-till was 28 bushels per acre in Manhattan, Kan., in 2003. AgProfessional.com also cited work done by the Irrigation Research Foundation (IRF) in eastern Colorado from years comparing strip-tillage to conventional tillage:

“This work has shown a four-year average corn yield increase of 16 bushels per acre in striptillage compared to conventional tillage, with a range of increase from 11 to 24 bushels. Strip-till also produced deeper and more abundant roots to explore greater volumes of soil for water and nutrients. For example, 90 days after emergence (2002) total corn root length with strip-till was about three times that of conventional tillage and rooting depth was 12 inches greater. Water infiltration was also significantly increased in strip-till.”4

SOIL CONSERVATION CONSIDERATIONS
In an era of growing climate uncertainty, one thing most experts agree on is that water will take on increasing importance to future farmers. By leaving residue intact, both no-till and strip-till conserve considerably more moisture in the soil than conventional tillage systems. The crop residue absorbs the impact energy of raindrops and helps limit dispersal and crusting by impeding overland water flow and providing more time for the runoff to infiltrate through soil pores.

While strip-tilling may leave fields open to somewhat more soil erosion than no-till techniques, both are a dramatic improvement over conventional tillage. Research done by the University of Wisconsin Lancaster Agricultural Research Station involved placing passive runoff collectors in a field with both chiseled and strip-tillage on an 8 percent slope. The measured soil loss in a year that experienced substantial rainfall during the early part of the growing season prior to crop canopy closure was 4.67 tons of soil per acre in chisel, but only .28 tons of soil per acre in strip-tillage.5

MOVING TOWARD AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY
As agricultural growing conditions change around the world, producers will have to embrace new technologies to keep pace with increasing demand. Agronomists are already working with plant biologists as well as agricultural equipment engineers to develop new and more efficient ways to produce crops from the same amount of tillable land while maintaining
the quality of the soil. Strip-till is the innovation that this generation of progressive farmers brought to the table. We’re eager to see what comes next.

1. Haga M., “Feeding a Growing World — Despite Climate Change,” Crop Trust

2. Godsey, C., Kochenower, R., Taylor, R., “Strip-till Considerations in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service, PSS-2134

3. “Strip tillage and fertilization for corn,” AgProfessional.com

4. Ibid

5. Wolkowski, R., Cox, T. and Leverish, R., “Strip-tillage: a conservation option for Wisconsin farmers,” University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension (A3883)

ABOUT RANDY HAARBERG
Originally from Wauneta, Neb., Randy grew up on a farm and holds an agri-business degree from Chadron State College. He spent 26 years as an independent agronomist focused on the
high-scale producers in the high plains of northeast Colorado before joining Orthman. Haarberg focuses on agronomic education and assists the Orthman team, dealers and growers worldwide with crop production systems recommendations.

Emergence data – strip till vs no till

Horizon-Equipment-logo

From our friends at Horizon Equipment in Western Iowa… an update on their strip till vs no till test plots.

 

 

No till - Strip till

No till sprout (left), Strip till sprout (right)

Planted on May 6, Tom and his crew saw an obvious ‘head start’ from the strip till sprout.

 

 

 

 

And, on May 22, more signs of Advantage: Strip Till.compaction

Dense soil literally prevents the plant from rooting and limits nutrient uptake. You can easily see the difference – the No-Till plot is hard and slows down roots. The Strip-Till plot offers ideal seedbed conditions.

No-tillage Strip-tillage trial

No-till (left) and Strip-till (right) plants, 22 days after planting

And, as you can see, the strip till plant has better development in root structure and plant mass. We’ll continue to update you as the season goes on. Thanks again, Tom!

Test plot underway…

Installing trial plots today with Cargill at the ‘Agronomic Pro Shop’ in Hebron, Indiana.

This plot is in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy and Cargill. The Nature Conservancy is showing that you can raise high-yield crops with conservation tillage practices. They  are comparing strip till, conventional till, no till and cover crops.

University of Illinois: Final Report

As prepared by Dr. Laura Gentry and Dr. Fred Below, and summarized by Mike Petersen – an executive report from the University of Illinois for crop year 2013 (CY13).

SUSTAINABLE CORN PRODUCTION IN INTENSIVELY MANAGED SYSTEMS: 2013 FINAL REPORT

Stover accumulation has been shown to reduce corn grain yields in continuous corn production systems leading to suggestions that high corn prices, which result in more continuous corn production, will also could result in widespread implementation of stover removal practices. However, effects of stover removal on soil fertility requirements and soil organic matter levels is an on-going concern and must be considered when growers decide to remove stover from continuous corn fields. In this project, we (Fred Below, Laura Gentry and associates) assessed the effectiveness of stover removal for increasing corn yields in high-yielding and conventional environments as well as nutrient management consequences of stover removal. High yielding environments consisted of higher plant populations, increased nutrient fertilizer application, insect protection traits, and application of fungicides. Conventional environments consisted of more common planting populations, less intense fertilizer applications, no insect protection traits (a granular soil insecticide was applied at planting in both environments), and no fungicide application. Additionally, three residue management treatments (crop rotation, partial stover removal, and tillage) were applied at two levels (9th-year continuous corn vs. long-term corn-soybean rotation, stover retained vs. 50% stover removed, and conventional tillage vs. strip tillage) to assess their individual and combined effects on the input treatments (plant population, nutrients, traits, and fungicide) and corn yields. In this summary we are reporting the results from 2013. Click table to view larger:

2013 corn yield results

Yellow: Corn/Soybean rotation with all practices employed
Orange: Same, without P-K-S fertility added
Blue: Better hybrid taken out, standard hybrid selected

 

Strip tillage is a relatively new reduced tillage system in the Central Corn Belt that protects soil from erosion, retains plant-available water, maintains soil structure and retains soil organic matter, and allows banding of fertilizers for more efficient plant uptake.  Strip tillage can substantially reduce soil compaction associated with multiple seedbed field operations; this also represents cost savings as a result of eliminating fuel use, labor, and equipment wear.  These three agricultural management practices – crop rotation, residue management, and reduced tillage – were tested for their individual and cumulative effects on agricultural sustainability parameters and corn yields in combination with the omission treatment design previously employed to investigate high yield management factors for corn production.

(Above Executive Summary provided by Laura Gentry, PhD.)

 

Comments/Observations by Orthman Soil Science Agronomist, Michael Petersen:

As we observe and evaluate this data set that Gentry and Below studied several key points that come up before growers minds as they evaluate the validity of Strip-Tillage, rotational changes, hybrids, fertility programs even in a year like 2013 when the spring was wet and planting was delayed.  Please note in the supplied table the colored cells; yellow highlighted cells depict in the Corn-Soybean rotation portion of the Gentry-Below studies in the High Tech plots in which all practices are employed, incl: P-K-S etc fertilizer added precisely, high-sustainable N rates employed, best hybrids (with insect, herbicide resistant, day length, etc), higher seeding populations, and fungicides applied at premium time.  In orange cells the additional P-K-S etc fertility is subtracted.  In the blue cells the better hybrid selection is taken out and standard hybrid selected.  Much the same as what we have observed at the Orthman Research Farm near Lexington, Nebraska – precision tillage offers a slightly better yield advantage, which along with savings in fuel, time, and other costs – IMPROVES PROFIT MARGINS.

Lastly, in the last line of the table, precision tillage results in the averages Continuous Corn/Retained with Strip-Tillage compared to Conventional Tillage (second left column) an advantage leans to Strip-Till.  We are pleased that Dr. Gentry supplied us these data and will continue the studies in 2014 with the use of Strip-Tillage using the Orthman 1tRIPr and dry fertilizer application system by Valmar.

More roots = happier plants!

A New Look at How Strip-Tillage Gives an Advantage Due to Larger Root Length to Soil Volume – This Affects Plants to Tolerate Stress Better

by Michael Petersen, Lead Agronomist

For 8 years now we at Orthman have been honing our skills to better understand what happens with strip-tillage and corn rooting. How is this all happening so corn plants can tolerate heat and drought stress better?

Figure 1: A top-notch seedbed to plant into – Courtesy Greenfield Ag, Ohio

It is our agronomic opinion that we are first accomplishing with the Strip-till implement a “better seedbed” to establish an environment where the germinating plant can extend a longer and more profuse seedling root. We have seen this in corn, cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans with strip-till compared to conventional tillage and direct seeding. Our observations have been at 15 days after emergence (DAE) and 25 DAE with the monocots (corn and grain sorghum), and 25DAE with the dicots (soybeans and cotton).

What are those factors? First, we are seeing warmer soils in the upper 4 inches (10cm) of the soil profile in the strip-till zone– from 1 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. With cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans (which all germinate closer to 58 – 60° F), those few degrees of temperature are vital to good germination and stand establishment. I’m not saying it is not important for corn, but corn does tolerate a few degrees cooler. A critical point – the soil density for the seedling root in the zone that is strip-tilled is very conducive to root elongation and early lateral root development off the seedling root with Strip-Till. All of this early root development feeds the plant, gets the plant off on the right foot so to speak when the inevitable chill of May comes and then heat of the summer. We all know the wind will blow hard at some point in the first 25-30 days of growth after emergence. Having a well established root system will not only anchor the plant but help it sustain life.

Secondly, as farmers are placing nutrients with more precision these days (which we highly recommend with the Orthman 1tRIPr) the roots are in direct contact with the nutrient source and will continue to thrive going into the critical stages of the life cycle. It is well known that crop roots are the dominant site (>98%) where nutrients are absorbed and taken into the plant for photosynthesis and carbohydrate storage – yield. This second pillar, “Precision placement of fertility” is talked about often here at Orthman as being vital to higher sustained yields. For instance in corn; near the time of 45 DAE the corn genetic road map has determined the number of kernel rows around the cob. Having a rich environment of nutrients (whether organic or inorganic) around the roots can influence the switches to be turned on across the gene map to expand from 12 to 14 to 16 to 18 or even 20 rows. More availability to the nutrients and roots accessing those products invigorates the plant to establish a larger ear, offering that multiplier effect. Having a larger root length density (RLD) which we will expand upon here shortly in this article is critical for the grower to reach higher yield potentials.

The 3rd pillar of the Precision Tillage concept is having an optimal root zone to facilitate an environment for more water and nutrient uptake for the planted crop. This underground environment is unseen by most and really needs to be considered, whether you are a grower, fertilizer dealer, or even agronomist in the field. I have spent 40+ years digging to understand the “ways” of the soil system as a soil scientist and it is important that all understand this message. The physical distribution of roots in the soil profile is dominated and affected by several factors:

  1. Gravity
  2. Soil temperature
  3. Soil moisture
  4. Chemistry of the soil solution
  5. Soil density
  6. Crop root architecture [crop genetics]

Of those six, gravity, soil chemistry and the wet/dryness are not changeable without irrigation.

Soil temperature in the spring can be altered slightly as mentioned earlier.

Maintaining residues on the soil surface can help hold moisture, add to soil foodstuffs for microbes and critters in the soil as well as mycorrhizal fungi helping nearly all crops.

Soil density is something tillage can alter (either for good or it can be detrimental).

Crop rooting architecture is a given but can be facilitated to reach all of its potential with Strip-Tillage.

Let us consider the root-zone from a Strip-Tillage perspective: first, early soil warm-up. Getting that germination started with good seed-to-soil contact, warmer for the early root system, right in the presence of readily available nutrients – like feeding a toddler on into the teen years when food is inhaled and kids shoot up. Feed them properly and they perform whether kids or corn and soybeans. For instance, proper nutrition and a soil environment is conducive to root expansion without limitations. By the time it is 75 days old, a corn plant can have a root system over 750 feet in total length and longer – precise placement of nutrients with Strip-Till is a big part of that success. We have actually measured over 1,326 feet of total root length under one corn variety that was strip-tilled in Eastern Colorado studies. Growers across the United States can tell you that amount of roots will be way bigger than they can imagine in a strip-till system, especially when we consider that rootworm pressure, nematodes, root rots, compaction, early water logging, and cold soils all take away from a crops root proliferation.

Figure 2: Robust corn root system at 25DAE with strip till

That brings us to how much of a root system is important to making the plant a “big crop”, especially in a year when rainfall is considerably limited? So think on this; Root Length Density (RLD) is defined as root length per unit volume of soil [cm root/cm3 soil]. If RLD averages above 0.35cm/cm3 below the 80cm (36 inches) depth, the corn plant will be able to pump water from depth to the upper portion of the root system and sustain life much longer than plants with lower RLD. When we can help promote an even larger RLD for the entire rooting profile with Strip-Tillage (such as measured in Nebraska and Colorado in 2013 over 3.95 cm/cm3 at two different study sites!), the concept is onto something! Those same studies show a full-width tillage rooting system of just 2.35 cm/cm3. It is our goal with Precision Tillage and placement of fertilizer products to encourage plants of corn to grow deeper, expand into more segments of the soil profile so to absorb more water and nutrients which in turn leads to better yields and dry matter.

Other researchers have measured in natural rainfed agriculture root systems that had RLD’s of 0.7 to 1.25 cm/cm3.

Here in at Orthman we have seen the value of establishing a strong and dynamic root system making yield differences every year at the Orthman Research Center near Lexington, Nebraska. Getting you an ideal seedbed, placing fertility in the root pathway and making sure you have an optimal root zone is what strip-till growers benefit from. M

Do not hesitate to call or e-mail amy of us on the agronomy team . We want to be a resource for you, as strip-till is the fastest growing smart and sensible tillage method on the planet.

Many 1tRIPr machines are starting to run

Strip till and planter in one passWith many 1tRIPr’s starting to run this spring there are agronomic goals to keep in mind. At Orthman we have 3 Principles of Strip Till that we feel need to be addressed on every acre of strip tillage:

  1. Ideal Seedbed Preparation
  2. Precision Nutrient Management
  3. Optimal Root Zone Conditioning

As an agronomist, I target the 1tRIPr to fulfill all 3 of the above mentioned principles. To do any of these and not accomplish ALL of them can cost you yield. I challenge each farmer that strip tills to stop and think how he can improve what he is doing. There is a very good chance that your bottom line will increase.

1) Ideal Seedbed Preparation: When the strip till unit leaves the field the planter must be able to run very smoothly on the berm that you have built. I feel this berm must be higher than the soil out of the berm but not more than 1” higher. Please remember that seed to soil contact, even spacing and seed depth are critical. Many studies suggest that a plant that emerges 36 hours later than other plants should be considered a weed! And, one study even cuts that down to 12 hours delayed emergence.

Early plant health and crop vigor can improve yield potential. One large reason to help early vigor is the increased temperature of the soil in the strip till berm. Another factor when doing a correct job creating a berm is you can increase water infiltration rate by changing soil pore sizes.

2) Precision Nutrient Placement: There are farmers that strip till but don’t apply fertilizers. In my 27 years of agronomy work, I have seen that failure reduce yield potential and efficiencies. You have a prime opportunity to place nutrients in a proper position! Not only do not only have the opportunity to choose dry fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, or anhydrous, you can choose proper depth, and in many situations can do MULTIPLE depths at one time. At Orthman we do have data that show you may get close to a 30 bushel improvement on corn by proper nutrient placement.

3) Optimal Root Zone Conditioning: Root Zone Conditioning is overlooked by many producers; make sure to take time to dig in the soil to see what your shank is doing. Behind many operations it has been noted that you are not leaving the soil in proper shape for maximum root growth. The first common mistake is we leave hard layers (commonly called smears) that roots can’t penetrate. By doing this you reduce your root growth that affects plant health and yield. We need to make sure we have a shank that shatters soil and compaction zones.

Soil voids are also something we want to stay away from. If we have any voids it will affect the planter running smooth, seed depth and placement. It also allows your berm to dry out and you will not maximize existing moisture.

Randy Haarberg

Precision Tillage System Agronomist

From South Africa – Orthman XDR combines 1tRIPr strip tillage with John Deere planter

Courtesy ProAgri magazine in South Africa, here’s a story about the introduction of the Orthman XDR, a 1tRIPr strip-till machine and John Deere planter – combined into one pass across the field!

The story is in the Afrikaans language – but you can download an English version of the John Deere Orthman XDR story here. Special thanks go out to our friends at GWK and John Deere for hosting a great field day!

Winter time is the time for your planter tune-up!

Planting via the Precision Tillage System method at the Orthman Manufacturing Research Proving Grounds.

Here at Orthman Manufacturing, we know this time of the year is a great time to check out the planter and its functionality to get the seeds in the ground like you want come April. Read the one page article that has some thoughtful words on being a precision farmer.  Click on the following link (Orthman Planter) to read what Randy Haarberg says; Orthman_Planter article2014.

With Better Precise Fertility Placement in Strip-till, Can we enhance Plant health and avoid Poor Stalk Conditions?

Our Lead Agronomist, Mike Petersen has been up to or should we say getting down to it, finding more out about the issue of potassium (K) having a role in the issue across parts of the Corn belt of corn going down bad. His talks with other wise Agro’s across the U.S., delving into research, reading texts has come to him writing a two page article. Look it over. Click on the hyperlink (text in orange color) Better precise K and S fertility_StripTill and enjoy!

Numbers of Growers are expresing concern over fall stalk issues – Is K at the bottom of this?

 

Soil sampling this fall for K is part of a good strategy to solve K issues

Our lead Agronomist has been digging as usual but this time into research papers, talking with fellow agro’s, reading and then wrote this to offer some suggestions as to why we across segments of the Corn Belt are experiencing weak stalks in corn. Is it strip-till has been a question to us? Take a look and spend a few moments reading what Mike offers.
The posting is in News and Articles – Titled: ” With Better Precise Fertility Placement in Strip-till, Can we enhance Plant health and avoid Poor Stalk Conditions? October 2013″

Strip-Till and No-Till Root Systems are not the same! See what Orthman Mfg agronomy team observed.

In the News and Articles section you can read some of the latest news of a study we completed at the Orthman Research Farm this summer (2013).  Click on the following title – Orthman NTvsST root article2013  We wanted to offer a look at what did happen below ground this year and gain an appreciation for a more full rooting system in what we promote here at Orthman Manufacturing – that being “Gain an optimal root system with a 1tRIPr and sound hybrid selections”.

The 2013 Corn Crop is now into dry down – Did you have the best root system possible?

Mike Petersen, our Lead Agronomist has written another article to inform you of what they (farm manager and scientists)

Determining the Effectiveness of Strip-Till Corn Roots

Recording the Rooting Profile

saw when the corn was reaching its maximum development of above ground plant and below ground root system. This information compares some of the dimension and healthiness of the corn grown at Lexington, Nebraska. He believes that this can pertain to many, many growers all around the globe that grow corn for grain. Read the associated article, http://precisiontillage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Orthman-NTvsST-root-article2013.docx and enjoy!  Or click on the Recent Post – Strip-Till and No-Till root systems are not the same!