Got water-logged soils? Strip Maker helps dry them out
Mother Nature often dictates what crop producers can get done, particularly during planting season. Wet, cool soils and heavy residues often gum up the best-laid plans. It’s not only a northern and eastern Corn Belt scenario, but one that can happen in Nebraska, too.
With that in mind, a central Nebraska company that specializes in strip-till equipment — Twin Diamond Industries — has developed an implement it calls the Strip Maker, which is a modification of its standard Strip Cat strip-till unit.
The idea is to provide an option for strip tillers who are prevented from carrying out a strip-till operation prior to planting because of mucky soil conditions. It also can be an option for no-tillers under these situations, says Dean Carstens, who along with twin brother Gene owns the company.
At a glance
• Sometimes wet, cold soils prevent a typical strip-till operation.
• Minden company comes up with Strip Maker to dry out soils.
• It is a modification of its standard Strip Cat implement.
“The key is timely planting, and you can’t do that with soaked fields,” says Dean. “We don’t want to force strip tillers into a corner when it’s wet.”
The Strip Cat attachments consist of depth gauge wheels on each side of a wavy, cutting coulter (the wheels control depth and hold residue to the ground while the coulter does the cutting); Sunco trash managers that leave a 6- to 8-inch-wide path; berm builders with a knife between them; and a conditioning attachment, either packer tires or a rolling basket, at the rear. The operation can be made either in fall or spring prior to planting.
The Strip Maker, on the other hand, is a stripped down Strip Cat. It consists of the following attachments: depth-gauge wheels on each side of a wavy coulter, Sunco trash managers, and wavy coulters that are angled and staggered front to back. Missing are the berm builders and knife. It requires less horsepower than the Strip Cat and can be run up to 9 miles per hour.
“It can be adapted back to a full strip-till machine very quickly,” Dean says.
“The key here is that, while you forego the actual strip tilling without the knife, you are able to come back and plant within 24 hours,” he says. “That’s because it cuts the residue and creates a path that allows the soil to dry out and warm up.”
The Strip Maker can also be retrofitted to band fertilizer.
It penetrates about 2 inches vs. the 6- to 10-inch depth of the Strip Cat’s knife.
A standard strip-till operation can be made in the fall if wet soils are expected the following spring, but sometimes it’s even too wet in the fall, or harvest is too late to get the job done, Dean adds.