Successful retailers will offer more precision ag services
Strip Tillage Builds on Precision Capabilities
“As we help our growers increase yields, we are focused on getting nutrients placed in the right location. We aren’t just applying nutrients, but placing them where they will have the greatest impact to yield and greatest economic benefit,” says Mike Zwingman, lead analyst of agronomy research for UFC’s 32 locations in southeastern Nebraska and north central Kansas. “The advancements that the SoilWarrior brings in nutrient placement can help growers advance their yields, lower their nutrient use and manage their environment better than ever before.”
This doesn’t surprise Farrell, who believes custom strip tillage is a real opportunity for retailers to provide unique leadership. “We are marching into more controlled environment farming where crop systems are managed by the inch. In my estimation, strip tillage will be a major component of precision agriculture,” he says. “Prescription and precision placement of nutrients and other inputs will be critically important for improved profitability and conservation of resources. Strip tillage, where you plant the exact same area, year after year, allows you to place nutrients right where the plants need them and keep high levels of crop residue between the strips for soil and moisture conservation.”
Timeliness is another reason to offer custom strip tillage fertilizer application, according to Matt Richmond, Midwest regional field technology specialist with Wilbur-Ellis, Onida, S.D. “Farmers are covering more acres and with the planting window so short, they don’t want to be slowed down by applying fertilizer with the planter,” he says. “It also allows us to hit higher rates of fertilizer for increased corn yield goals.”
Kevin Born, CEO of Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS) says, “We are seeing more interest by ag retailers to add strip tillage with precision fertilizer application to their custom services. It dovetails with retailers’ precision ag services and it provides another revenue source. Most importantly, they are introducing growers to an innovative technology that improves yields and nutrient efficiency.”
Interest by ag retailers and large growers alike has caused ETS to build its largest SoilWarrior machine yet. The new 60-foot, 24-row SoilWarrior N simultaneously delivers anhydrous and liquid or dry fertilizer at a speed of up to eight miles per hour. Equipped with three variable rate dry fertilizer tanks, the SoilWarrior N easily adapts to fertilizer formulation changes based on soil conditions, the calendar and comparative prices of various nutrients.