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Strip-buster skims off residue

Seth Spicer, who farms east of Imperial, is one of the many strip-till crop production adherents in southwest Nebraska.

Spicer, who strip tills and plants in separate passes, encountered a dilemma a couple of years back: Persistent spring winds were blowing loose corn residue over the strips before he could come back to plant them.

At a glance

• Imperial farmer found that the wind blew residue over his planting strips.

• He came up with an attachment that skims off the residue.

• He finds that it also helps his planting units run smoother.


The inventive Spicer solved the problem with a planter attachment, patented last year, which he calls the “strip-buster.”

The attachment is a shovel that slides over the trash mover shank and is attached to it with two pins. That places the shovel in front of the planter, followed by the trash movers and then the furrow openers.

Parting the residue

He adjusts the height of the shovel so that “it just skims the surface, parting the residue and pushing it back off the strip during planting. I don’t want to move dirt. I just want to part the residue that’s over the strip so that I have good seed-to-soil contact.”

A side benefit is that the row units run smoother with less jarring, which in turn leads to more uniform emergence. And, he adds, it eliminates hair-pinning of cornstalks.

He’s sold about 90 of the units, which are made for him in a metal shop in Imperial.

The units can be attached and removed quickly, using just two pins through existing holes on the trash mover shanks.

Spicer conventionally tills heavier soils that he farms, and in those situations, the units aren’t used.

“I started work on it from scratch five years ago,” explains the 29-year-old Spicer.

At Spicer Farms, Spicer has a cowherd and farms 3,000 acres, most it rented land, raising corn, dry edible beans and wheat.

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EASY ATTACHMENT: The device slides over the trash mover shank and is attached with only two bolts.

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HIS OWN INNOVATION: Seth Spicer made his own strip-till innovation that skims the surface, moving corn residue off the strip during the planting operation.

This article published in the March, 2010 edition of NEBRASKA FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.