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How to grow more with less

How to grow more with less

GPS Ontario’s ‘Fertile Stripping’ program combines strip tilling with fertilizer application in one-pass through the field

Ryan Ridley
Farms.com

Growing more with less is what every farmer strives for – efficiencies in the field can save a farmer time and money.

At the 2020 Great Ontario Yield Tour Virtual Final Event, Morley Wallace, Owner of GPS Ontario, delivered an insightful presentation on his company’s spin on fertile stripping.

“We want to grow more crop with less fuel usage and less labour in the field. We want to use less fertilizer but grow more crop. We want to use less weed spray and kill more weeds. This is all basis of growing more with less,” explained Wallace.

Fertile stripping is a program that combines strip tilling with the addition of fertilizer while you’re working the land.

“By combining these two processes, you’re reducing the number of trips across the field and reducing compaction,” he added.

Wallace discusses the pros and cons of different fertile stripping processes and gives advice on exactly where to apply that fertilizer.

“Ideally fertile stripping is a fertile strip – about six inches wide and five inches deep – but there’s different methods out there that people are trying to use for fertile stripping.”

One method of fertile stripping is a strip with a band of fertilizer approximately two inches off to the side of the seed, or two bands of fertilizer, one on each side. Wallace explains that these strips create a ‘hot zone’.

“The problem farmers are running into is that each of those strips are creating a hot zone about two-to-three inches away from where that seed is being placed, which then turns into a burning zone for the roots,” said Wallace.

Another method is a shank delivered fertilizer strip-till, where the fertilizer will drop down the tube in between the shank to the bottom of the trench.

“This makes a very, very hot zone for your roots as all of that fertilizer in that zone is concentrated and there’s nothing to mix that fertilizer into that six-inch by five-inch zone,” he added.

GPS Ontario’s fertile stripping system blends the fertilizer throughout that whole six-inch by five-inch deep strip.

“That actually allows the fertilizer to be surrounded by soil. As that fertilizer dissolves and goes through the process of converting to food for the plant.  It is strategically placed in that zone so when that root – regardless of where that root goes to – has a very short distance to go to get the food that is required to grow the plant,” explained Wallace.

The ‘hot zone’, as referred to above, doesn’t happen with GPS Ontario’s fertile stripping program.

“Because we are not putting that fertilizer into a clump, or a ribbon, or a strip, we don’t get the heating process or the burning of the roots and the growth becomes very rapid,” he added.

“Another advantage of this process is that it creates a perfect seed zone for that seed. It is light, it is fluffy, it is moist, and it is not compacted. Those are the ingredients that I believe are very essential to having seed grow rapidly and germination of that plant will be within the four or five day stage, rather than a week to ten day stage.”

Wallace also provided an overview of several local fertile stripping machines that are currently in operation. Watch the video below to see these different machines, as well as results from the fertile stripping process.

 

 

The 2020 Great Ontario Yield Tour Final Event was held online on September 2-3, and featured several presentations from experts, and event hosts and sponsors. Corn and soybean samples were taken by scout on hundreds of farms across Ontario. At the end of the tour, province-wide corn and soybean yield estimates were released, as well as regionalized estimates for south, east, central, and western Ontario. GPS Ontario’s presentation was given as part of the final event.

Photo: gpsontario.ca

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