Strip till for field crop production
Converting to a strip-till method of production from conventional tillage will eliminate expenses associated with primary and secondary tillage. If the other tillage equipment is not sold, you need to include the depreciation and interest costs on that equipment when calculating the true cost of strip tilling.
Additional costs to strip tillage include machinery ownership and operation costs, chemical burn-down and a ground-spraying operation. Cost reductions include eliminating chisel plowing and field cultivation. The estimated change in per-acre costs to convert to strip tilling using these costs indicate an increase of $10.63 per acre for a 24-row machine and $11.63 per acre for a six-row machine.
Management Tips for Strip Tillage
• Match the strip-till row width with the planter row width.
• Leave corn stubble standing for maximum air movement and less matting of residue. Build strips between the previous crop rows.
• For the greatest soil warm-up and seed-to-soil contact, strip tillage should be performed in the fall.
• In cooler, fine-textured soils, strip-till equipment should clear the berm to less than 10 percent residue for faster soil warming in the spring.
• In high-moisture conditions, build berms approximately 3 inches high in the fall so they are at least 1 inch high by planting. In arid conditions, berms can be depressed to collect winter snow.
• The economic advantages of strip till are improved if banding phosphorus and postassium fertilizer with the fall strip operation.
• Avoid slopes of more than 7 percent without contouring; otherwise, risk of soil erosion can occur in tilled strips.