No-till, Strip-till Both Have Benefits

No-till, Strip-till Both Have Benefits

Which system you use could depend on soil temperatures in spring.

No-till and strip-till each have their avid proponents, and some of the differences or preferences among producers are based on where you farm and your conservation needs.

In continuous no-till, the residue is untouched, providing erosion control and soil moisture conservation. No extra trips, other than pre-plant fertilizer application are made. The one exception is the spraying application, which doesn't interfere with residue.

A coulter on the no-till planter opens a narrow slot for planting. With little or no modification, most planters can be used in no-till systems. Most common attachments include coulter, stronger down pressure springs and extra planter weight for better penetration.

No-till, Strip-till Both Have Benefits

The system minimizes fuel and labor requirements.

In strip-till, the strip-till unit tills a strip to remove residue to warm the soil more quickly. A subsoiler, fertilizer knife or multiple coulters performs the tillage, allowing fertilizer to be injected through the knife or behind the coulters. Strip-tiller enthusiasts say this allows for better fertilizer placement.

Elimination of compaction is another reason given cited for using strip-till.

In western Nebraska and in smaller pockets of the state, strip-ill is more common than elsewhere. 

No-till, in addition to its excellent erosion control, also means less need for equipment and attachments. It is well suited to many soils many soil types. Residue needs to be uniformly spread at harvest. Doing so, increases water infiltration and reduces soil moisture evaporation.

Using no-till in poorly drained soils covered with large amounts of residue delays soil warming and drying in the early spring, which can delay germination and emergence.

Regardless of whether it's no-till or strip-till, start out the system on a few acres first.

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