Iowa Learning Farms to host June 14 Strip-till Open House

June 1, 2011

Ames, Iowa--Iowa Learning Farms will sponsor a strip-tillage Open House at the Arlo Van Diest farm in Hamilton County on Tuesday, June 14, from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
With todays high fuel prices, cash rents and land costs, there has never been a better time to explore reduced tillage options. Visit the Van Diest farm to see how strip-tillage works and learn from a local farmer who is experienced with this practice. Visitors are welcome come and go anytime. Talk with Arlo, enjoy a free light supper (courtesy of the Van Diests) and visit their spring strip-tilled acres.

Strip-tillage marries the best aspects of conventional tillage with the benefits of no-till. Before planting (fall post-harvest, or spring pre-plant) a strip-tillage implement creates strips of tilled soil. Surface residue is left undisturbed between the tilled strips. In the spring, corn or soybeans are planted into the tilled soil strips, which warm and dry faster than the rest of the field, making this system ideal for some Iowa soil types. Landowners and farmers should see better water infiltration, improved soil structure, and potential for reduced fuel, machinery and other crop input costs with the implementation of strip-tillage.
Van Diest is known in the area as a strip-tillage expert and is happy to share his experiences with others interested in this conservation tillage practice. He elects to strip-till his fields in the spring, leaving the fields at rest after harvest. Van Diests farm is located at 1491 220th Street; 1.25 miles west of Webster City on county road D20 (220th St.) at the corner of Fenton Ave.

Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.