Tillage specialists and equipment manufacturers from across the Midwest will join together at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station on August 12 for the Midwest Strip-Tillage Expo 08. The day-long event is hosted by UW-Madison and UW-Extension and will follow a format similar to events held in Minnesota and Iowa in 2007.The event is aimed at farmers, equipment dealers and agricultural professionals to demonstrate the potential of strip-tillage for row crop production in Wisconsin.
Key organizer of the event is Dick Wolkowski, CALS extension soil scientist. He encourages CALS faculty and staff to attend, and to help get the word out by downloading, posting and distributing the Midwest Strip-Tillage Expo 08 flyer.
Strip-tillage is the practice of tilling narrow bands in the soil zone where rows of corn or other crops will be planted. This practice offers many of the same advantages of conventional whole-field tillage-early warming, drying, and seedbed preparation – as well as the conservation benefits of no-till.
“Strip tillage is getting more attention recently because it’s less energy-intensive,” says Wolkowski, who has been conducting research trials on the practice for a dozen years. “You go over the field in the fall, and that’s it for tillage. The next operation is planting the crop in the spring.”
Concurrent educational presentations and field demonstrations will begin at 9 a.m. and be repeated at 1 p.m. At noon a panel of veteran strip-tillers will discuss their experiences and techniques.
The educational program will be held in the Arlington station’s air-conditioned public events facility. It will include presentations on fertility and other management practices for strip-tillage, techniques to maximize yield in high-residue systems, auto-steer and other GPS guidance technology, and managing compaction in reduced tillage.
Field demonstrations will give farmers a chance to compare features of a variety of strip-tillage equipment and related products, including auto-guidance systems. Manufacturer’s representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Information booths and equipment displays will be open all day.
There is no charge to attend the event. Lunch will be available for a nominal cost. Two Certified Crop Advisor CEU credits will be available to those attending the educational presentations.
The Arlington Research Station is located 20 miles north of Madison about one mile west of U.S. Hwy. 51. More information on the field day is available online at www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/.