Updated: Jun 21
Acres of Grace Farms has been a no-till practice farm until recently. Nick had been noticing some stand issues with our corn crop, so we invested in a strip-till fertilizing rig. The tillage part of the machine goes about 4-6 inches into the ground depending on what field we are planting in. The liquid fertilizer comes out that the bottom of the shank. After we have tilled we will plant directly back on top of the strip we fertilized. The spray we use has Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, micronutrients, humic acid, and a biological stimulant for the soil microbes. We are not just trying to use fertilizer, we are also trying to feed the microbiome of the soil. The tractor(s) we use to pull the strip-till fertilizing rig is guidance ready, it has GPS controls that cause it to drive in straight lines. We are then able to download the data to use in the planter tractor to then plant the corn in the exact same lines as the till rig went. The strip will is not only putting fertilizer straight into the ground but it is loosening
up the seed bed and root zone for the early corn plant.
Subtitles for Strip-Till Fertilizing YouTube video
"Hey everybody, Nick here with Acres of Grace Farms and so it's a beautiful day out today. We were supposed to get some rain, but it's not so we came back to the field. So, it is June the second and a lot of y'all are gonna say that's a little late to plant corn. It is, except for we plant a lot of silage corn for our own cattle and that we sell to some other producers in our area and so we space out our plantings over the course of about a two-month period so that we lengthen our harvest window. But what I want to talk to you about today is something that's new on our farm this year that we're doing and that is strip tillage. Now typically we have always been no-till. One from a labor standpoint but also an equipment standpoint and then also just uh trying to be good farmers, good stewards. We have a lot of rolling land that doesn't necessarily need to be worked every year. He found a worm which is an indicator of soil health, which is great, he loves earthworms. But over the past few years uh I had noticed uh we do a lot of cover crops as you can see uh this this field here a month ago had cattle grazing in it. It was in crops last year, cover crop, cattle and now we're going to go back with corn this this year but for us spacing out the window I started seeing stand issues with my corn in particular cutting through some of the residue and then also we've always just broadcast our fertilizer where we're a no-till and I got to thinking that maybe there was a better way and so we invested in a strip till rig this year. That in this tank it's a it's a liquid rig and there are different variations you can do liquid or dry but ours here is doing liquid uh and we're putting out a very large percentage of our fertilizer with this for this corn crop with this rig so it comes out here at the very bottom of this shank and we're running it uh about four to six inches depending on the spot of the field down into the ground uh and then we will plant directly back on top of that strip um so in in in the mixture that we're using is uh nitrogen uh phosphorus potassium micronutrients humic acids um a biological stimulant for the soil microbes, so it's not just fertilizer, we're also trying to feed the microbiome of the of the soil here uh as well and so um it's new to us this year we're seeing some good results out of it so far that we'll talk about in another video uh but we wanted to get some uh some shots of us doing it here in the field today,
(goes around that's right)
so, we're up here in the tractor now that's uh pulling the strip till rig.
This tractor here is is guidance ready uh so it has uh sf3 guidance on it basically what we're able to do is this tractor uh the gps you know tells it where to go where to drive in straight lines. I'll download the data off of this tractor into the planter tractor and the planter tractor drives those exact same paths so we have an eight-row uh strip till rig we have eight row planter so they match up perfectly. The planter will drive right on top of the row so the strip till is not only putting fertilizer in the ground which is a huge thing but we're also loosening that seed bed and root zone up for that early corn plant and so uh it's got a nice little it's got this fertilizer down there it's got its nice seed bed so that so that we can get some really good emergence and really good stands.
I don't have to drive the tractor drives itself.
So on the screen here these newer tractors have really incredible computer monitors that give all sorts of data but this field that I stay on a lot the white line tells me which line that the tractor is driving it paints it blue to show that I’ve already been down through there this is my rake controller so this is showing me that I’m putting out 24 gallons to the acre that the master switch is on and what my target target rate is i can scroll through a lot of different things on my tractor it tells me uh counters temperature.
So, you know tractors these days are really really high-tech computers uh with wheels is basically what they are.
Hey so here's Nick with Acres of Grace, so earlier in the earlier video we were actually out in the field strip tilling ahead of time so this field we planted uh about a month ago um and so we strip tilled it and then planted right on top of it. But as you can see in the little row here behind me you look in the distance you see it's nice and straight until we get to right here and there's a curve and that's called operator error as in nick's error as in I hit the wrong button on the tractor and it was not driving itself correctly. What you can also notice if you look in the distance how nice and even that corn is when you get right up here it's about three to four inches shorter and has a different coloration to it now that may be hard to see on the video but I think you can see it faintly that is because we got it off of the strip where the fertilizer is so this corn is having to run roots out a little bit further uh to get that fertilizer and we can see a difference in it here and then we've got another spot that's even more um even more noticeable in the difference. So we'll head down there next. Hey guys so we're down here at the other spot we were talking about as you see here in the distance um right along this field edge here I was able to make one last pass strip tilling these last few rows I was not and so you can see a very marked difference between the corn that was just flat out planted in the corn that was planted in the strip till row."