Canola School: Strip-tilling creates a happy medium of seedbed prep, water conservation

To till or not to till? It’s an ongoing conversation in areas where water is controlled through irrigation or risk of soil erosion is high.

Carlo Van Herk, research technician with Farming Smarter, says strip tillage ahead of a canola crop could be the answer, as it creates a happy medium between soil water conservation and seedbed preparation.

“It provides a very good seedbed for your small seedlings especially. You also will have very good seed to soil contact. And it also protects your seedlings and the rest of your soil, as you have standing stubble beside your seed rows,” he explains in the Canola School video below.

Results do vary depending on what seeding equipment is used, but the research Van Herk has conducted over the previous three years at Farming Smarter has shown the use of precision planters provide very good results in these environments.

“In a low yielding environment, the planter — even though it still shows results — is not as much worth the investment because you’ll have less net income,” he explains. “But in the high yielding environment, using a strip tiller, along with the precision planter, has definitely seen benefits.”

Check out all our Canola School episodes here!

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