Research Partners

Research overview:

University of Georgia

In a cooperative effort Orthman Mfg is deep into a tillage comparison project that is headed up by Dr. Scott Tubbs, with Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia.  All field work is on the University of Georgia Agronomy farm near Tifton, Georgia.  Twelve treatment areas have been established in this project.  Half of the plots are under a cover crop of rye the other half no cover crop and will be growing peanuts.   Each repetition will be replicated a minimum of three times in this side by side comparison and carried out for three years.  Best management agronomic practices, fertilizer placement, soil phenology and yield monitoring will be part of the on-going program.   Root phonological studies, soil quality, soil organic matter, bulk density and soil porosity all are be collected as well as soil water infiltration rates between tillage practices.

USDA-National Soils Dynamic Lab,  Auburn, Alabama

As an outreach to the community, Orthman Manufacturing and NSDL have joined forces to conduct on the ground field research.   The cooperative effort is a three year study led by Dr. Kip Balkcom now underway at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Unit.  This three year strip tillage study is on single and twin row peanut production, with and without involvement of cover crops.  The tillage systems are with the Orthman 1tRIPr and two competitors.  The plots are replicated seven times to gather strong statistical significance, with all having control plots.  Specific soil studies such as; bulk densities will be gathered using the latest krieging systems and monitoring.  Yield production will of course be the final analysis of all plots.   Crop residue samplings of aftermath for erosion calculations, soil cone penetrometer readings for delineation of compaction, and crop stand analyses will be accomplished by the line-transect method.  Stand counts will be taken several times during growing season.


Texas A&M Stiles Research Farm, Thrall, TX

All research management, field work, grazing management, tillage to harvesting is coordinated and managed by Archie Abrameit on the Stiles Foundation Farm near Thrall, TX.  These trials began in 2007 and are continuing. The following trials and activities are coordinated by Mr. Abrameit:

  • In cooperation with Orthman Manufacturing ~ long term tillage trials of comparing No-Till, Conventional full width tillage, and strip-till. Trials with corn, grain sorghum and cotton.
  • Trials with new Trimble sponsored RTK accuracy tools to study placement of pre-plant fertility  in strip-till at no offset, 4-inch offset, and 8-inch offset
  • Trials include economics of lowering input costs with fertility, labor, time, fuel

Texas Tech University

All research is coordinated on five farms. These trials are on 4 cooperative farmers located in the Southern High Plains region plus on the Texas Tech research farm. Wayne Hudnall and Richard Zartman are the two scientists leading these studies in cooperation with USDA-NRCS and Orthman Manufacturing. These studies are just put into place in 2012. The trials and activities include:

  • Continuous cotton rotation with strip-tillage compared to conventional tillage methods
  • Continuous cotton with inclusion of small grain intercropping or cover crops
  • Trials to evaluate soil quality characteristics, erosional differences, yield changes, and economics. This will be a 3 to 5 year study with these growers.

University of California-Davis

All research is located in the Central Valley; at the Kearney Experiment Station near Five Points and cooperating growers in the Tulare area. Jeff Mitchell is the scientist leading the studies at the research facility and cooperating farmers fields with use of Orthman Manufacturing implements.  Efforts have been in long standing since 2005. The trials and activities include:

  • Long term strip-tillage in cotton, small grain, cover crop rotations
  • Determining irrigation efficiencies with strip-tillage
  • Effectiveness of strip-till on beds vs. flat with cotton & tomatoes, all irrigated
  • Determine feasibility of strip-tillage with vegetable production
  • Determine need of RTK guidance with strip-till where fields are subsurface drip irrigation in corn, cotton and vegetables
  • Determine adaptability of strip-till in furrow irrigation vs. overhead sprinkler systems

NWISRL in Kimberly, IDUniversity of Idaho and Amalgamated Sugar Co.

These research projects are located at the Kimberly, ID research facility. Dr. Oliver Neher and Amber Moore are coordinating these studies in crop rotations of dry edible beams, sugar beets and small grains along with agronomists from the Sugar Co with the use of Orthman Mfg. implements.  Efforts have been running since 2010.  The trials and activities include:

  • Barley residues with strip-till sugar beets how erosion is diminished
  • Placement of fertility with strip-till tool for sugar beet development and yield as well as input costs
  • Effects of disease pressures in sugar beets and edible beans with strip-till vs conventional tilled fields
  • Effects of cover crops with strip-tillage and conventional tillage to enhance soil quality and decrease erosion issues in sandy and silt loam soils

Orthman 1tRIPr on site at Oakes facilityNorth Dakota State University – Oakes Experiment Station

These research trials are located near Oakes, ND in the southeastern portion of the state in dryland conditions. All research and management of trials, field work is done by Walt Albus cooperating with Orthman Manufacturing. Efforts have been carried out since 2009.
The following activities are carried out by Mr. Albus south of Oakes. These are long term studies, greater than 3 years. 2007 2008 2009

  • Determining the feasibility of strip-till with continuous corn; studying economic factors, weed control, residue management, herbicides, pre-plant N use
  • Determining effectiveness in crop rotations of corn and soybeans with strip-till and conventional tillage methods and fertility
  • Determining effectiveness of strip-till and onions
  • Determine effectiveness of strip-till in rocky fields both irrigated and dryland
  • Determine crop yield of corn with different corn varieties

Michigan Soil Conservation Districts Environmental Farms

These research trials are coordinated with MSU, Michigan DNR, USDA-NRCS and Orthman Manufacturing on Bakerlads Farm, looking at the systems approach with tillage comparisons, crop rotations, soil quality and economics. Tom VanWagner is the coordinator of these studies and trials.  Efforts have been carried out since 2010.

  • Observing how dairy manure and effluent can work in a strip-till systems approach
  • Alleviating soil compaction when manure is spread in the winter months
  • Comparing strip-till against No-Till and Conventional tilled fields
  • Looking at economic improvement, soil quality in corn for grain, silage corn, silage corn with cover crops and soybeans

Clunette Elevator Leesburg, INClunette Grain and Fertilizer Company

In north central Indiana, this progressive small town operation managed by Gabe Ayers is carrying out trials to evaluate strip-tillage against conventional tillage and higher quality liquid fertilizer systems. All trials are coordinated with Orthman Mfg. Studies have been carried out since 2010, and include:

  • Determining feasibility of improving yields in corn, soybeans with liquid products vs. dry fertilizers
  • Determining how to better place nutrients and lower amounts of NPK fertility with precision placement and how input costs are improved
  • Determine if variety selection and fertility in strip-tillage has importance
  • Observing rotational differences with strip-till and fertility applied and amounts of products such as N inhibitors, Avail, Humic acid and fulvic acid additives

University of Illinois-Champaign

All research activities are located on long term plots to study influences of strip-till on advancing high sustainable yields.  Carrying out the trials in coordination with Belows system of elimination from all possible positive influences, one-by-one to determine what such a system is the ultimate.  Activities are coordinated by Dr. Laura Gentry and Orthman Mfg.  Efforts have been carried out since 2011.

  •  Strip-Till systems approach in corn on corn vs. conventional full width tillage
  • Dry fertilizer as the main source of nutrition during spring or fall operations
  • Comparing soybean rotation with corn
  • Observing input costs with all rotations and tillage systems to reach highest sustainable yield without degrading soil quality

Monsanto Learning Center Monmouth, IllinoisMonsanto Learning Center Monmouth, IL

This research and learning center is one of the premium stations operated by Monsanto to advance the newest technologies in high productivity farming systems. Orthman Manufacturing is cooperating with Monsanto to demonstrate feasibility of the strip-till systems approach with dry fertilizer application in continuous corn and corn-soybean rotations with Dekalb and Asgrow seeds.  Efforts have been carried out with Orthman since 2011. All studies and trials are coordinated by Troy Coziahr.

Orthman-rubber-wheels-strip-tillerMississippi State University

This research and field demonstrations is being carried out in several fields around the state from south to north by Mike Howell, Extension Agronomist. Carrying out field research to bring new technologies to intensive agriculture in peanut, cotton and soybeans in the Mississippi Delta and Coastal Plains.  Efforts have been carried out with MSU since 2010.

  • Evaluate strip-till vs conventionally tilled peanuts and sustainable high yields
  • Evaluate strip-till in cotton production for improving yields, lowering input costs and decreasing fertilizer inputs
  • Demonstrate adaptability of strip-till in the soils of the Delta

West Central Research and Extension CenterUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln West Central Research & Extension Center

All research and field efforts are at the North Platte Experiment station. Dr. Greg Kruger is managing all research efforts in cooperation with Orthman Manufacturing. This set of trials is to compare tillage effects on irrigated lands for continuous corn and corn in rotation (soybeans and dry edible beans) with other row crops.  Efforts with Orthman have been carried out since 2011.

  • Determining effects of tillage systems for wind and water erosion, soil quality and economics
  • Determining fertility differences in tillage types and how tillage influences irrigation efficiencies in corn and corn-bean rotations

Colorado State University ARDEC Experimental Farms, Ft. Collins, Colorado

  • Research and trials are coordinated by Troy Bauder in Crops and Soils Department along with Niel Hansen.  Trials to observe functionality of strip till compared to conventional tillage in furrow irrigated continuous corn. Efforts with Orthman have been carried out since 2008.
  • Determine economics, decrease in P losses, N leaching, soil loss due to irrigation with strip-till
  • Carrying out trials to determine adaptability of strip-tillage into furrow irrigation and less water inputs as well as fertilizers, studying conventional methods, No-Till and strip-tillage

Irrigation Research FoundationIrrigation Research Foundation Yuma, Colorado

At this not-for-profit, Private research center, Charles Corey leads the cooperative research projects with numerous seed corn companies, soybean companies, Western Sugar Co. This center is predominately to promote better irrigation water management practices along with better fertility management.  We at Orthman have cooperated with the IRF since 1999.

  • Root identification studies in strip-till with 8 seed companies and the Colorado Corn Growers to identify which hybrids work best in limited irrigation methods
  • Intensive irrigation water management with EarthTec Inc probes to measure water use efficiencies, root management and better use of nutrients on limited amounts applied based upon strip-tillage
  • Water management on strip-till sugar beet production and nutrient application and yields
  • Viability of high sustainable continuous corn with strip-till as the foundational practice