The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been researching conservation tillage practices, and specifically strip tillage, for almost 20 years. As a part of the Ontario Soil Strategy, strip tillage practices have been found to offer many economic and environmental advantages for farmers.
“Advantages of strip tillage include residue management, and an ability to incorporate fertilizers. Compared to conventional tillage, strip till has less tillage in seedbed preparation, less slippage, better weight carrying by the soil and potentially less compaction,” says Ian McDonald from the OMAFRA Field Crops Unit. “Spring strip tillage can enable farmers to plant earlier, because the seedbed is “fit” sooner than with no-till.”
OMAFRA and Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show are partnering this year to bring a Strip Tillage Demonstration to the show. This event will showcase the benefits this type of conservation tillage has to offer. Different manufacturers will display how their strip tillage implement works in the field. Each brand has different features on their machinery, which gives farmers the opportunity to see which piece of equipment will work best for their soil and crop conditions. Some pieces of equipment are set up for either fall tillage or spring tillage, while some are set up for both. Different types of equipment work better in certain soil conditions, and some are best suited to incorporate fertilizers.
Ian McDonald says, “We hope to encourage strip tillage as an option for farmers to incorporate on their operation. Seeing this demonstration and side-by-side comparison of the different manufacturer’s products will give them a firsthand look at what will work best on their farm”.
The Strip Tillage Demonstration will take place at 11:15 a.m. daily in the Southwest Demo Field at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.