Strip-till is Time and Fuel Saver

Strip-till on corn featured research at Greenley Center Field Day Aug. 7.

Published on: Aug 6, 2008

Strip-tilling corn is catching the attention of Missouri growers. Those who adopt the method can save time and money through more efficient planting, reduced fuel consumption and labor, and efficient placement of fertilizer. A strip-till on corn demonstration is a featured stop at this year's University of Missouri Greenley Center Field Day, Thursday, Aug. 7.

In strip-tillage, farmers till only narrow strips of ground rather than the entire field. "Strip-till loosens up soil and helps dry it out faster in the springtime, which helps get the crop into the ground a little quicker," says Kelly Nelson, MU research agronomist at the MU Greenley Memorial Research Center near Novelty, east of Kirksville.

"You also reduce the amount of fuel consumed, because you're only tilling a small amount of ground compared to conventional tillage, and you may have more efficient nutrient uptake by the plant," Nelson adds.

Producers may also save time in the field with strip-till by applying fertilizer at the same time that crop residue is cleared. "You get the tillage and fertilizer done in one pass, so it doesn't have to be done in the spring," he says. "That cuts your fuel use and saves time in the spring."

Other Greenley Must-sees
* Research on the cost-effectiveness of variable-source nitrogen applications in corn.
* Overview of aerial applications in today's production systems -- Jim Woods of Woods Flying Service;
* Pest-management tour -- new herbicide management options in corn;
* New research on volunteer corn control;
* Soybean aphid management research;
* Strategies to manage beef cattle feed costs;
* Cattle temperament and its relation to growth;
* Short-term CIDR-based protocols used to synchronize estrus in beef cows;
* Wind power for the farm -- Mick Martin of Four Winds Energy, Camp Point, Ill.;
* MU Drainage and Subirrigation (MUDS) project at Ross Jones Farm.

FYI
Visit http://aes.missouri.edu/greenley/ or call the Greenley Center at 660-739-4410.