High Plains Journal – Late March 2007 – SW Kansas Farmers Lead by Example

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Published April 2, 2007 | By admin


Winter Moisture with Conservation Tillage in Hoxie, Kansas Area


Jennifer M. Latzke, with High Plains Journal writes about successful grain sorghum growers and some results of strip-till for them. A short bite to tempt you: “We’ve been a little short lately on water,” Hill said. “We’re to a point where we’d just about given up on dryland. We’re thinking about planting more wheat-summer fallow rotations now. But, with this winter moisture, we might just change our minds.” Winter snows or not, Hill knows that the best long term management for his fields is to conserve as much moisture as possible. That’s why the brothers practice strip tillage and use RTK precision technology for greater field accuracy.


“We drive precisely where we need to be in the field with RTK guidance,” Hill said. “We tried precision ag technology once before a long time ago without much luck, but the new technology out now makes it work much better and easier for us.” The Hills use an Orthman 1tRIPr, a pre-plant tillage tool that can clear a 2-inch strip of stubble, place nutrients and prepare a seedbed in one pass.


Using RTK technology, the Hills can then follow the 1tRIPr with their planter and plant the seeds in the cleaned off strip. While it is possible to attach the planter to the 1tRIPr and complete everything in one pass, Hill explained that their soil conditions make it difficult to haul that much equipment through the field. Hill also uses the strip-till unit for fertilizing in the fall, with the field all prepared for planting in the spring. Because of their crop rotations, the Hills have some areas of high trash conditions, but with a little experimentation they’ve made strip tillage work for them.


Original Link: www.hpj.com/archives/2007/mar07/mar19/Wintermoistureconservationt.cfm




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