Strip tillage for high-residue irrigated cropping systems
• Planters seeding depth gauge wheels. Depth wheels should be close to the place of seed drop. For small-seeded crops, depth wheels should be less than 8 inches from the seed drop to help adjust planting depth for undulations in strip tillage areas.
• Seek information of producers who are already using strip tillage. Finding producers who are currently using strip tillage will accelerate success by reducing the number of mistakes made during adoption.
click image to zoomO. Steve NorbergFigure 14. This strip tillage unit is set up to apply liquid fertilizer. The fertilizer pump is ground driven and meters fertilizer and places it down each shank at the level desired. Economics of Strip Tillage
The calculations below illustrate how producers planting corn after wheat under a sprinkler irrigation system would compare the savings of strip tillage to conventional tillage. The example assumes that (1) the producer exchanges a rolling stalk chopper or turbo till and a glyphosate application for one disking to kill volunteer wheat after wheat harvest and (2) strip tillage eliminates plowing, another disking, fertilizer application, cultivation, and a dammer-diker operation. In addition, the cost of tillage and spraying used in this example came from the Malheur County Custom Agriculture Operators (Jensen 2010). Since no custom rate for strip tillage has yet been established, fuel and labor costs for operating a strip tillage unit were estimated, as was the calculated savings toward purchasing and maintaining a strip tillage unit. I estimate the cost of a six-row (30 inch rows) strip tillage unit at $30,000 plus an additional $20,000 for RTK GPS.
click image to zoom Yearly payments including GPS would be $13,192 for five years (total cost $65,960), which includes 10% interest. An eight-row unit would probably be a better fit for 500 acres, but we used a six-row unit for our example. Strip tillage, the number of rows, and the width per row must match your planter and the horsepower of your tractor. click image to zoom
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