To mark its 10th anniversary, Environmental Tillage Systems, Inc. (ETS) will be a title sponsor of the country’s first National Strip Tillage Conference, July 30-31 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“We want to help the category of strip tillage grow,” said ETS CEO Kevin Born. “Strip tillage is good for the environment and will advance agriculture’s sustainability. We plan to continue investing in more strip-tillage research with universities and retailers.”

“We’re making zone tillage commercially viable for retailers and cost effective for farmers,” Born said. “Farmers are becoming more aware of the soil health benefits of systems like strip tillage that leave two-thirds of the topsoil undisturbed. With commodity prices dropping, they are very interested in this technology that helps them reduce costs while maintaining high yields.”

It is only logical that ETS would be the title sponsor for a strip tillage conference because of its long history in this segment of farming. At 10 years old, ETS remains dedicated to the entrepreneurial principle its founders started out with, building each of the company’s SoilWarrior Systems for zone tillage with the needs of the end customer in mind. The ETS Zone Tillage system goes beyond what most farmers think of as strip tillage. It delivers a complete system of precision nutrient placement and seedbed management.

The SoilWarrior had its beginnings on a farm in southeastern Minnesota where Mark Bauer sought to engineer a tillage system that would enhance his soil, protect the land from erosion and improve operating efficiencies without sacrificing yield. Eventually, he built a successful prototype and ETS was founded in Faribault, Minn. The initial patent application for the SoilWarrior was filed in 2004, and the first SoilWarrior X environmental system for dry fertilizer was commercialized that same year. 

Success of the SoilWarrior

The SoilWarrior delivers deep-zone tilling with fertilization in one pass during the fall, and planting zones and fertilization in the spring, also in one pass. A single SoilWarrior can replace primary and secondary tillage equipment, seedbed finisher, fertilizer applicator and additional residue management tools. “The SoilWarrior helps save soil, labor, moisture and fuel while optimizing fertilizer efficiency,” Born said.

Born said the patented cog wheel is the secret to the SoilWarrior’s success. The 30-inch diameter cog wheel with replaceable ductile iron tillage bits digs up to 12 inches of deep vertical zone tillage for liquid or dry fertilizer and liquid manure. It creates an even and elevated berm, and the exposed soil mellows over winter and warms quickly in the spring. “It’s the core of the machine; durable technology standing proud after 10 years,” he added.

“Even though we’re not a custom manufacturer, we build each of our SoilWarrior Zone Tillage machines specifically with the end customer in mind,” said Born. “The SoilWarrior is built like a farmer would build it. We don’t skimp anywhere. It’s built like a tank and backed up with the service the professional farmer deserves. Our equipment will last twice as long as anyone else’s,” he claims.

ETS has numbers to back up Born’s enthusiasm. Annual sales have increased every year of the company’s 10 years and are up 400 percent over the last three years.

Over the decade, ETS has designed and developed a full line of products to implement its Zone Tillage system for customers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The ETS product lineup includes the SoilWarrior, SoilWarrior X, SoilWarrior N, HoneyWarrior, SeedWarrior and RollerWarrior.