Strip-till tips for the northern Plains
The University of Minnesota Extension conducted research in southern Minnesota comparing soybean yields in a rotation following strip-tilled corn in chisel-plowed, no-till and strip-till fields (DeJong-Hughes, Stahl). The yields in 2006 and 2008 were similar, reflecting soybean versatility in various tillage systems. In 2007, the no-till fields yielded less than the chisel-plowed and strip-tilled fields.
NDSU strip-till research with sugar beets grown in 22-inch rows was conducted during 2005-07 at several Red River Valley locations (Franzen and Overstreet, 2007). Sugar beet yields were similar among tillage systems in two of the three years. Strip-till yields were approximately the same as conventionally tilled plots.
Sunflower production using strip till is limited in the northern regions of the United States. Strip-till research trials and commercial production in Kansas show some success for sunflowers (Olson et al., 2005). Four years of NDSU strip-till research at Carrington during 2006-09 by Endres have indicated similar sunflower performance for seed yield and quality among tillage systems, including strip till.
General Fertilizer Considerations
Phosphorus and potassium can be band-applied during strip-till operations. Banding phosphorus and potassium allows for a rate reduction of one-third compared with broadcast application on a medium or low-testing soil (University of Minnesota Fertilizer Recommendations, 2001). Phosphorus and potassium also can be applied to crops as starter fertilizer with the planter.
Nitrogen also can be applied using strip-till equipment. However, fall nitrogen application is not recommended in sandier, lighter soils.
Nitrogen can be applied as a starter fertilizer and side dressed later in the growing season. Carrington, N.D., research conducted in 2010 (Endres, Hendrickson, Glatt) show similar plant emergence and stands among tillage systems and fertilizer placement methods. However, among strip-till treatments, in-furrow fertilizer had lower plant densities compared with other methods of applying fertilizer. Grain yield and quality were similar among treatments. However, among strip-till treatments, seed yield was higher with fall deep-band followed by spring in-furrow fertilizer compared with other fertilizer treatments.
The Oakes Irrigation Research Site conducts research on growing continuous corn and corn following soybeans in a strip-till system to determine efficient nitrogen fertilizer rates. Results from these studies can be used to evaluate likely corn yield and quality for various fertilizer rates (W. Albus, L. Besemann and H. Eslinger. 2010). More information is available online at www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/oakes/oakes.htm.
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