Strip Till Versus Conventional Tillage
15 Jun 2317 min 17 sec

Chad talks about the economic and fertility benefits that he sees from his strip-till acres, the difference in how you are applying fertility and what it means in terms of being more aggressive with your nutrient management program.

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00:00 Hey there, we're talking about strip till versus conventional tillage. How you go about managing the resources, the allocation of resources, 00:07 the timing of the inputs, the advantages to strip till versus conventional till and vice versa. I got Chad Henderson here. 00:13 We're at Henderson Farms and Mass Alabama at Galen Beer with agro liquid. All right. Farmers love pretty fields. 00:20 Chad farmers love pretty fields no-till struggles to catch on because it don't look pretty. But you know what, this is fine. It's holding, 00:27 it's holding a little bit more moisture, which is important to you. It's got residue up here, which is generally good, you know, 00:32 let's that organic matter get in there. What's wrong with this, other than the fact that it doesn't look like the conventional field? 00:38 That's just pretty Well, uh, from our farm perspective. What we're trying to do here is we can't always work every acre up, you know, with, with a manpower and a machinery. 00:49 We have to have different things. And also it'll give you a different planting wind window if you allow it. So what what'll happen is like, hey, 00:55 the strip hill ground will be with the plant because it won't be, you'll be riding on top of the hard ground. Yeah. 01:00 And the planters and the planter will be kicking up a dust where it will be actually slick, you know, in a little too wet to planting areas. Sure. 01:07 Or the conventional wouldn't be ready. So we, we have about 3000 acres of corn this year. We have about 12 to 1500 acres as strip tilled, 01:14 and we have a little bit of no-till. We have a good bit of conventional, it just broadens our horizon and stretches things out. Three, 01:19 where we have different things going on. Three Different methodologies from complete conventional. Yep. Like we've been doing for a century, uh, no-till. Yep. And then strip till. 01:28 And the thing is, uh, you've got about almost half of your acres in strip till. Yeah. Okay. And how long you been doing the strip till? Uh, 01:35 About three years now. Okay. So I'm not a professional. I take anything y'all got. I will take the wisdom. Gladly. All. All right. Galen, um, you're obviously aquid. We talk a lot about your, 01:44 your company we always think of as the starter, as the stuff that goes out there. Yeah. And, but it's not, obviously they dribble it on throughout the season, et cetera. 01:52 Is there a difference in how we would use fertility, um, from the standpoint of infer oh two by two dribble on y drop, et cetera, 02:01 from one method, say strip till to conventional till There is Damien, and you know, when you get into strip till, you're putting that fertilizer down a lot, a little deeper. 02:09 So you're not seed contact with the fertilizer. So now you ha you have a little bigger playbook that you can pull from Yep. In order to make sure that you're meeting the needs of that crop. 02:19 So you can do things like heavy rates of sulfur. You can be more aggressive with potassium, more aggressive with nitrogen if you, if you're not worried about leeching the nitrogen components. 02:28 So you can do things in a strip till that gets some fertilizer out there ahead of that plant going over this acre. 02:35 Is it because why could, it sounds like we're putting more, we can put more con, we can put more product out sooner with strip till. 02:42 And I'm not sure I completely understand why that would be More pounds. We're talking in pounds. Yeah. You know, and we need, so we know, 02:48 we know, we know we need so many pounds to make this corn plant running. Yep. We know we need so many pounds per each farm, per each field, 02:56 per each soil type, you know, so, so it's things we can address. You know, if one farm's a little low in zinc, 03:02 you can bump the zinc up at an affordable rate. Cuz we're dealing with a strip. Correct. You know, where we can bump the in up, 03:07 we can adjust the rates easier because we're dealing with a smaller spot to fertilize and we're fixing zones that are smaller. In my case, 03:15 a lot of the reason I do strip to us, because it's saves me about 50 or 60 bucks an acre. Okay. And then I got ground this. Wait, 03:22 How's it on what? Well, on fertility. So I'm, I can cut my rate back enough to where that band is still a pretty hot band, if you will. Okay. Alright. But I'm not fixing, trying to fix the whole zone. 03:34 I'm fixing an eight 18 wide strip. So I'm fixing the seed bed. What other differences? Because this is a lot being tossed at me here, Galen. 03:42 What, what other differences are there in a conventional versus strip till that then maybe the average person saying, Hey man, 03:49 I've been thinking about trying strip till I'm a conventional guy. What? Yeah, So, and for sure strip till can be a piece of time management as well. 03:56 Because to, to Chad's point, you need, there's just some nutrients you need a lot of pounds of. Yep. And so some of that you can put here in a strip. 04:04 And what he's referring to a little bit is since you're banding it, you're not exposing that nutrition to all the sources of loss that you would get 04:13 if you laid it on the surface or if you put it out there and broadcast it and it's more reactive with other elements in the soil. We're, 04:21 we're confining it to this space so we can reduce that application. So, all right. 04:25 So why, why aren't you not doing even more about half your acres, 40 to 50% of your acres are strip till on corn. Why not do it all? 04:34 Sounds like it's got a lot of advantages. I Mean, it does, but we can't, the timeliness, you know, this thing needs to be run in our soil types. Let's say my planting window, 04:42 you know, it's hard last few years for me to get planted in March. Mm-hmm. Okay. But my planting window is still a 15th of March is when I like to be running. 04:48 Yep. Okay. It's been the 25th, the 1st of April. But if I'm trying to go the 15th March, man, it's not a lot of window there to run a strip till. Okay. Well, 04:57 in the falls when I love to be chasing the combines with it, I will say running in November, 1st of December. Well, if you run this too wet, 05:05 it's as much a problem. If you strip till wrong is as much a problem. You're not helping yourself, you're hurting yourself. So that's about the, 05:11 unless I buy another rig and have another man that's about the limit of the acres I can get to and do it correctly, 05:17 I want to ask for the person. And, and I'm one of 'em, I'm sure there's a lot of people like, okay, I've heard about this. Tell me the methodology. So you come out here with a thing that just, 05:24 it just tills up every, every 30 inches. It tills up four inches or something like this. Yep. So it's a, it's a standalone rig. You've gotta buy that piece of equipment. Yeah. 05:32 You gotta buy that piece. And That's all it's good for. That's all. It's, it doesn't, it doesn't turn into a swimming pool in the all season. That's all good. 05:37 But it took, but it took, it took three passes to make that feel look that way. One pass and this looks this way. Okay. 05:42 So there's still a, even though you have to buy that piece of equipment, you saved yourself two passes. So, man, uh, manpower, 05:49 fuel and uh, We could literally, we can literally harvest. And, and a lot of ours is done too. See our problem is we have double crop, 05:56 it's wheat and in soybeans. Okay. Yep. We have a good mat on top and we can't get it dry under there without moving that cover in some form or fashion. Right. So when we strip till, 06:05 we can move that cover, but we still allow 'em to keep the cover there for the winter. So Galil and I are standing in the field. That was wheat. 06:11 It got harvested in June. It got put to soybeans. The soybeans came off in November, November, October, 06:16 November. And then this corn plant went in in March. This, Well, this was actually the first week of April. First 06:21 Week of April. Yeah. All right. What, when we talk about the other differences, um, is there a difference on spoon feeding? 06:28 That's a big topic We've talked about gal of allocation of resources, getting it right where the plant Right time. Right plant Right, right time. 06:34 Right? Mm-hmm. There's the four Rs. Okay. Yep. Right time, right product, right placement, et cetera. Is there a difference between this and conventional? 06:39 Cuz it's still, what is these 30, 30 inch row? I mean, there's not a lot of difference. There. Is there, There is some difference though. And, and again, it, 06:47 it comes back to those pounds of nutrient. You're, you're, you're putting all the nutrients right there at the plant's feet. 06:53 Basically you're ensuring it's accessibility. That doesn't mean you're never gonna broadcast something on a field like this because you still need that to a degree. But when you're, 07:03 since Chad is rotating between several crops and sometimes conventional till he can meet that need at other times this year, he is able to say, okay, plant, 07:12 all you gotta do is go down a few inches and all everything you need is right there. 07:15 We'll put the cherry on top when the planter rolls across us and add a few things in there. 07:20 So we'll address a lot of those things he's talking about in our wheat program. When we, when we spread our dry or put out chicken letter in front of our wheat, 07:27 we're addressing the broadcast side of it. Then we're coming in and recording. We're addressing the zone of it. Okay. So it's a, it's a, it's a give and take, 07:34 you know? Yeah. All right. Okay. One other thing, then you've saved money on diesel, on manpower, on wear and turn equipment. Cause you only went across this once, 07:43 whereas convention, you went across it three times. Can you take that money and put it somewhere else for a bigger yield? Well, you always moving money around. I mean, 07:51 fertility's fertility and until you're not really looking at it that way. You know, we're looking at all our corn acres as a vast, as one pool of money. 07:57 Uhhuh. So I may be taking from this and giving to that. You know, it's just like a farm. You know, when you go buy a farm, 08:03 you have to take two more farms and pay for that farm. It's grain beans the same way. You know, it's just the same, same principle. When he 08:08 Runs through here, Galen, uh, come, you know, we're, we're recording this. The May 10th, May 11th. 08:12 So when he comes through here again on his next pass watch, your next pass will be herbicide. Herbicide. Three weeks from now? No, 08:18 Next Week. Next week from now, next week from now. Mm-hmm. Um, next week from now, what will, 08:22 What will be in the mix? Will there be any fertility in the herbicide mix? Mm. When is it ever? Not fertility in any of my mixes. Yeah. 08:29 Cuz you like to send it. So what's he let guess what He's gonna put sugar? Yeah. 08:33 Uh, Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, right. Yeah. Okay. What are you gonna put in your herbicide tank? A bunch. Okay. Now, I mean, you know, will there be 08:42 Any of their, will there be any of his stuff? Oh, we're gonna Run micro 500. You know, we'll be, 08:45 we'll be from a court to a little bit more in some cases, you know, a courting what we're trying to do. But we're gonna have micro 500 in the mix. 08:52 Yeah. Um, I don't know. We'll have to look at the sheet on the zones of what we're testing, but overall we will always have micro 500. The crop. You need a crop. 09:02 Um, a micro bag. Yeah. You Will mi and micro 500 is your product. And it's it's got, Yeah, it's got five essential micronutrients in it. It's got the zinc, 09:10 manganese, iron, copper, and boron in it. And this early, you know, the, the, the unique part about this is we're talking about corn. It's a little out here. 09:17 So you're still trying to get it off and running, making sure it looks good as the season goes along. You might be tissue testing, you might refine what goes in that tank. 09:25 But for now it's probably a little more broad scale, making sure we're keeping that plant balanced at this stage. So the next stage when we come in with a wide drop Yep. The first wide drop, 09:34 we run two wide drops and the first wide drop we start just like Galen talks about, we start addressing, addressing certain things. Yeah. 09:42 The second wide drop, we address certain things for late season, it starts to shift. But the first herbicide spraying, we're generic spraying. 09:49 We're killing weeds. We're we're going across it. Let's put a micro pack in it. If we know that we have a problem, then we'll use other things. You know, 09:57 I mean we have firing, I mean we have other things that we could put in a box. You know, 10:00 There's no difference on maturity. There's no difference on, uh, once, once we're at this point there's not a lot of difference though. Is there, 10:07 I mean, you're gonna treat this next week with herbicide and then the micro 500 micronutrients, et cetera. Mm-hmm. 10:12 That conventional field I'm looking at across the water. The same thing. It'll be the same thing. Same thing. There's not a lot of, 10:16 there's not a lot of differences from here on this Hereon. Well from here from on that pass, it's not, but remember we put different pounds in underneath this thing, 10:25 so we might could change the wide drop according to what was able to put under this road that we could put under. 10:30 Yeah. It started, it started with more here. Correct. That's right. So we can, it gives us availability to make changes mid-season. It does 10:36 Know. Absolutely. And might be a silly question, but the ability to put more in here now, and we talked yesterday about low c c soils and leeching, 10:45 but does this organic matter on top? Is this residue on top? Does it change the leeching or does it not? Not a factor. 10:50 Am I just thinking maybe Well, it always helps when you're covering a fertility up, you know, so in that part of it where we broadcast like, 10:57 like Galen was talking about earlier, you know, with, there's things that are viable. Yeah. You know, when we have sun out, you know, there's gassing off, there's things that are going on we can covered up. 11:05 That's less likely to happen. But remember, you know, with our ccs, we can only put down so much to hold. Yeah. 11:11 Cause sticker that's our trickling effect from strip till. Yep. All the Way through West Jalen. We talked about low c c soils, uh, exchange capacity. 11:19 If you're not an agronomist, which of course I am not. Uh, yesterday and we talked about is there a difference 11:27 in this practice in a low CEC soil versus somewhere else that has much more 11:32 Ion Yeah, yeah, to a degree there is. So if you moved out to the high plains for the CECs or higher, you actually can put a fair amount of nitrogen in early in that bit early 11:41 because you could put it in that strip because you have, uh, higher c c to hold it and you don't get the rainfall. 11:47 Chad would argue with me since he's been in a drought, but typically speaking, they don't get the rainfall out there to leach. 11:52 So the nitrogen's gonna hang around for hang around at least another, another few months or another couple weeks. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. 11:58 One last thing from each of you. Why do you look as you're, you're, we pulled in here and Chad was saying, Hey dam, look over there. 12:04 You see that thing we were talking about one of our previous recordings. Okay. He didn't say that. He says that thing we talked about. And he said, 12:10 and he said, uh, Al that's kind of yellow's combat. He sees stuff that maybe I don't see and maybe even other farmers would not see. Both of you. Just tell me what you're looking at when you, 12:19 cuz you can't help yourselves. You're scouts and you're scouting all the time. What are you seeing when you look out here that maybe even a good farmer is 12:26 like, oh man, I might have missed that. I'll Go first on that because he told me the same thing and I'd already noticed it on the way in because I grew up on a farm. So you noticed that early plant health. 12:35 Yep. But the thing that we are looking at always is, uh, what's that early stand count? I was out here yesterday, 12:42 I took that and I wanna also see the consistency in the size of the crop. And then you do wanna look at that color because while we know that we're not 12:50 tissue testing yet, if there were something that we're jumping out at you like a manganese deficiency or something like that, 12:55 we might tell him to throw it in with that herbicide. Okay. And I, to to his thing. And I wanna get your point. I, uh, certainly, uh, I'm not the botanist here, 13:04 but I'm looking and I see a little bit of uneven stand. I see some plants that are, I see a lot of uneven stand. Okay. All right. I was being generous. I was being nice, I was being gentle, you know, 13:12 I was like, Hey, have you gained some weight? I was feeling like that. Okay. Yeah, 13:17 No, that was straight up. So when are you expecting, oh, I'm not pregnant all. 13:23 So I'm looking around here and I see some plants that are half size the other plants. Yep. Is that anything to do about the practice? It's 13:30 Not, is it? Yep, it is. It's a hundred percent meat. It's a hundred percent meat. So when I do meat sometimes that's what happens. But no, what it is, is that's when you learn easy. 13:38 It's hard to make corn when pope for pulling corn. You're At 32,000 now. 13:42 Now we're, so what what happens is, is sometimes with this strip tail, if you get off of the row or um, if it's cloy, 13:51 then that's what happens when your seed, when you hit a clot and your seed is not at the right depth, and this was in the moisture. This was not in the moisture. Okay. 13:58 These are things that happened that we can control, but that we use irrigation to fix. The best thing for this right here would've been to pre irrigate, 14:06 to prema a pre-pass and come back and then plant into better moisture, which I irrigated behind the planter. Okay. So there, 14:13 there's things going on and, and this is a lot of what not to do. We learned a lot, 14:16 we've learned a lot with strip tail about how important it is to stay on the strip. 14:21 I think the planter's set up to run on this strip and it's softer when you get off the strip, the corn is, the emergence will be, 14:27 it could be a half to an inch. Showerer. There's a lot of things that go on in that. All right. By, by the way, I, I know Chad's now saying I was already, you put 14:34 Those down. I mean, you've showed 'em enough. That's just like you, you just keep showing how bad it is. 14:40 Well, and Chad was struggling that I just, I just reduced his population on this acre by two plants. But we do this because we in extreme mag are all about education. 14:48 This is definitely what not to do here. One of the things we say is we've made the mistakes. So you don't have to. And I like the fact that we own it. You know, we 14:56 Bump in the field day. It's me, you go a field day is like, oh, this is amazing. This corn's gonna make your 62 pound test weight. Yep. And 300 bushels. 15:04 Nobody ever says, oh this is a turd. This is a turd. And to let Chad off the hook a little bit though, we are standing at the head of the field where it gets additional traffic. Yeah. 15:12 And you're always dealing with that traffic. When this strip tiller came through here, I promise you there's more clads on this part of the field than there is out 15:19 there. And so Your unevenness appreciate Friend, I'm trying to let you off the Hook. Dalen is true. And Chad, the un the unevenness Yep. 15:29 Of Stan is going to be less pronounced out there than it's where we're standing. Right. 15:32 You got it. We're in the worst possible area. But you'll see it too. You know, you'll see it when you're planter when you're planting. And I do, 15:38 I do most of all the corn planting. But when you see it and, and you've definitely, 15:42 this is where we get in time of the year where you've gotta keep a good check on where you're putting your seed and the moisture available. 15:48 Cuz you'll see if you start looking, and we can go out here and I can show you all kind of things that's wrong. But when you start going up on those rises where we run outta moisture, 15:55 the corn plants are still there. They're just behind. Yeah. And that's just, that was just us missing the depth on it. You know, just, 16:01 Uh, last thing, it's part of it farming, It's, it's where we farm 3000 acres, you're gonna mess up on, Uh, a couple acres. Yeah. Uh, 16:09 assuming it's not as bad out there as where we're standing, what do you think the yield penalty is on this amount of unevenness that you 16:14 think is on this actual fuel? It won't, It won't be near what it will be when it hits 185 degrees. Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so, right. 16:21 So right now unevenness of Stan we know can be a yield deduction, but if we get Okay. Weather, it can bail you out. 16:27 It can't bail us out. Our limiting our factor was set with unevenness. Bam. We just took, we just took a chunk outta the barrel. All right. You know, but, 16:34 but it's one of a hundred things that can limit yield. That's so you don't wanna overthink it either. That's, You know, that's, that's right. Or a few bushels. There's a few bushels that we, 16:41 I mean you Can't, you can't, there's Okay. We control the controllables. All right. We messed that up. All right, we move on. 16:46 We're not gonna rip this field up because Oh, it's uneven. I gotta plant, I gotta start now. 16:50 So this is just a learning curve of doing a better job hitting the moisture with the planter. Yep. I mean it's just, it's again, it's part of it. It's farming, 16:57 it's real world farming right here, speaking Of moisture in real world right here in his field, it's actually starting to spirit rain. So you know what, 17:03 he's Galen beer with agro liquid. He's Chad Henderson with Extreme Ag. And I'm David Mason. 17:07 And we're talking about strip till versus conventional till, uh, I hope this educational, it certainly was for me.

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