UNL CropWatch May 19, 2010: Zone Tillge Demonstration Rescheduled for May 25-26

UNL CropWatch May 19, 2010: Zone Tillge Demonstration Rescheduled for May 25-26

May 19, 2010

Due to rainy weather, the Panhandle on-farm Zone Tillage Demonstration has been rescheduled for May 25 from 2 p.m. until early evening and May 26 from 9-11 a.m.  It was originally scheduled for May 19-20 near Hemingford.

Photo -- strip tiller

Northside Welding's 12-row, 22-inch strip till machine is one of seven expected to be at the Panhandle Zone Tillage Demonstration sponsored by Western Sugar and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.  

Seven machines will be operated in the field so farmers can evaluate their performan in 22-inch rows in heavy corn residue and wheat stubble. The demonstration is cosponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center and Western Sugar Cooperative.

The demonstration was requested by Western Sugar growers and agriculturalists, according to John Smith, machinery systems engineer at the UNL Panhandle REC. Smith said many sugarbeet producers are successfully using zone tillage systems in 30-inch rows, but that some growers farm 22-inch rows or want to move to the narrower rows to increase per-acre yields.

Zone tillage is a regional form of strip tillage where surface residue is moved aside from the row to facilitate planting, especially shallow-seeded sugarbeets, and to allow the sun to warm the soil in the row area. Zone tillage uses a shank operating 10-12 inches deep to loosen the soil in the row area and to place fertilizer below where the seed will be placed. Strip tillage typically focuses on moving residue from the row area and shallow placement of fertilizer, but not deep tillage in the row area.

The demonstration will be conducted in two fields southwest of Hemingford, near the intersection of County Road 74 and Johnson Road. From Hemingford, drive 4 miles west on Highway 71 to County Road 74; 8 miles south on County Road 74 to Johnson Road. One field is 1/4 mile west of the intersection, and the other field is 1/2 mile south of the intersection. On May 25, a light meal will be provided that evening by 21st Century Equipment.

Each machine will be 12 rows wide. The equipment manufacturers include:

  • Blu-Jet by Thurston Manufacturing, Thurston, NE (two machines)
  • Northside Welding Inc., Paul, ID
  • Orthman Manufacturing, Lexington, NE
  • Schlagel Manufacturing, Torrington, WY
  • Twin Diamond Industries, Minden, NE
  • Case IH/DMI (an 18-row machine)

Northside Welding also will bring a 12-row, 22-inch Case IH planter equipped with an Omni-Trac GPS Implement Guidance system to demonstrate improved tracking following a zone tillage operation.

For more information contact John Smith at (308) 632-1247 or email: jsmith5@unl.edu.


David Ostdiek
Communications/Technology Specialist, Panhandle REC