Tillage Innovation Profiles

 

Dick Buitenhuis, Ridgetown, Chatham- Kent
Soil Type: Sandy Clay | Farm Operation: Cash crops and vegetables
Years in Operation of Zone-till (5-8 in. deep): 13

Tillage/Cropping System

System: Zone-till (5-8 in. deep)
Fall Tillage: strip till
Spring Tillage: have coulters on planter

Planter Make, Model and Description
  • Kinze with hydraulically adjustable bar up front
  • 3 coulters per row of which 1 has a dry fertilizer opener 2”away and 1 has a liquid opener 4”away from seed.
Tillage/Coulter Dimensions:
  • In the fall strip till 6 inches deep, for both the wheat and soybean ground. We do all our next year’s corn acres.
  • On planter coulters run about 3-4” deep depending on soil type and conditions

Fertilizer System:
Liquid In furrow:
Broadcast:
Dry Banded: 195 lbs of 6-28-22-3.2S-1.5Mg
Additional Nitrogen on Planter: 40 lbs of N
Sidedress N: 85-100 lbs in June

Trans Till
Producer's Comments

Pros

Cons

  • Strip much softer and warmer than rest of field in spring. No or very little residue on the strips.
  • Sandy soil creates significant soil erosion problems if worked in fall and or spring. No problem with strip-till.
  • No need to use row cleaners if it is done in the fall.
  • Much lower fuel and labor cost per acre, 1 trip in the fall and 1 planting trip in the spring.
  • Strip till allowed me to plant corn into wheat stubble the following spring.
  • Compared to moldboard or chisel plow, soil has to be a bit dryer in order for the coulters to do a good job. More of a problem on the heavy soil types.
  • Wheat stubble is usually mowed and sprayed with Round-up in the fall prior to making the strips. If not mowed it is almost impossible to see marker. With GPS/RTK this would not be a problem and would eliminate the mowing pass.
  • Best to remove wheat straw, but with a good chopper on the combine it can be done. Residue should always be spread evenly.