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Thinking Outside the Strip – One-Pass Manure Incorporation and Seedbed Prep with Strip Till

With some out of the box thinking, Ken Hartemink, hog and cash crop producer from St. Thomas, Ontario has mounted a strip tiller to the back of his manure tanker for one-pass manure incorporation and seedbed prep for next year’s corn crop.
 
Ken Hartemink is a hog and cash crop producer just outside St. Thomas, Ontario. Ken wanted to shift away from moldboard plowing his mostly clay-loam ground and move towards strip till for corn production. Given he was already broadcasting manure with a tanker pass after harvest, he decided to mount a strip tiller to his manure tanker to simultaneously inject manure and prep a seedbed for next year’s corn crop.
 
Equipment Setup
 
In 2019, Ken started with his existing 7,000 gallon Nuhn manure tanker, and after attending some strip till demos, purchased a 6-row Kuhn Gladiator strip tiller. For mounting the bar on the tanker, a 3-pt quick hitch was purchased and with assistance from Nuhn was mounted to a traditional manure injector lift mounted to the rear of the tanker (Fig. 1). Ken fabricated manure injection outlets from 3” tube which mount to the rear of the Gladiator shanks using the existing dry fertilizer tube mounts. He also mentions “because it is impossible to watch the strip tiller behind the manure tanker, I mounted a camera on the strip tiller to watch for residue plugging or other issues from the cab”. Ken took advantage of environmental cost share programs for both the strip tiller and injector lift hitch.
 
Manure and Strip Till Operation
 
Running shanks 6” deep, Ken says the strip tiller does a good job incorporating 4,500 gal/ac of liquid hog manure with little manure visible outside the strip (Fig. 2). With 280 horsepower upfront, he can run 5-6 mph which still provides proper strip till action, although power requirements can be noticeable going up hills. Ken does concede “one challenge with this setup is that at 60’ from the front of the tractor to the rear of the strip tiller, it can be a challenge to turn and line up square on 60’ headlands”. While GPS guides the tractor, Ken does not run implement guidance. Despite being 50’ behind the tractor, he says strip till passes appear to line up well.
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