By Lizabeth Stahl
Hear the latest University of Minnesota research and information on strip tillage and see strip-tillage equipment in action through field demonstrations at the 2011 "Minnesota Strip Till Expo" on Friday, August 5th, at the College and University Center in Owatonna. This event will run, rain or shine, from 9:00 to 3:30, with registration and Exhibits starting at 8:30. Admission to the Expo is free and food will be available for purchase on-site. This program is brought to you by U of MN Extension and Riverland Community College.
Field demonstrations by major manufacturers of strip-tillage equipment will run from 9:00 to 11:00 and again at 1:00 to 3:00. Educational presentations by University researchers and Extension Educators on the economics, soil benefits, and proper management of strip tillage will run from 10:00 to 12:00 and 1:30 to 3:30. From 12:15 to 1:00, a panel of strip-tillage producers will discuss their experiences and share tips with attendees. The Iowa State University "Conservation Station" will also be present from 10:00 - 2:00, offering demonstrations including a rainfall simulator. Attendees can visit vendor and informational booths throughout the day. For further details, visit http://z.umn.edu/stexpo2011.
Besides many environmental benefits, conservation tillage practices, such as strip-tillage, can yield economic benefits as well. Fuel costs can be reduced as trips across the field are decreased and fertilizer costs can be decreased if phosphorus fertilizer is banded instead of broadcast.
With fall strip tillage, a zone typically 5 to 9 inches deep and 7 to 10 inches wide is tilled in the crop row, while the area between rows is untouched. The crop is subsequently planted into the cleared strips in the spring. Strip-tillage addresses a common concern of conservation tillage related to soil warm-up in the spring by clearing residue in the plant row while maintaining high residue levels overall.
The "Minnesota Strip Till Expo" is a great opportunity to learn more about strip tillage and current research results, to compare what equipment might work best for you, and to learn from others currently practicing strip tillage to help fine-tune your management practices.
For more information contact Brad Carlson at 507-389-6745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Lizabeth Stahl