Strip till systems are becoming increasingly common in Ontario dry bean production. Strip till offers the advantage of some tillage in the seed row while reducing the overall amount of tillage and leaving some residue on the soil surface. The strip tiller can be run in the fall or in the spring; some producers conduct an initial strip till in the fall and freshen strips in spring.
In a strip till system, it is typically best to direct harvest. Without tilling the whole surface of the field, it may be challenging to run a puller under the soil surface to pull and windrow beans; however, some producers are making this system work.
One challenge with a strip till system in dry beans is the use of herbicides that require soil incorporation. If strips are created in the fall, there is no opportunity to incorporate herbicides applied prior to planting. For some herbicides used in Ontario dry beans there is an increased risk of crop damage when they are applied pre-plant rather than pre-plant incorporated (e.g. Group 15 herbicides).
There is no published research on dry bean growth or yield response to strip till compared to other tillage systems in Ontario. Links to strip till resources from Ontario are provided below.
- Series of short videos on strip till by Farm and Food Care
- Strip Till Speaker Series by OMAFRA Soil Team, a 3 part webinar where each 1.5 hour video is focused on a different aspect of strip till and features four different farmer speakers from across Ontario
- Integrating Technologies to Enhance the Simplicity of Strip
Tillage Systems (Research Report) by Ben Rosser, OMAFRA Corn Specialist
- Thinking Outside the Strip: One-Pass Manure Incorporation and Seedbed Prep with Strip Till by Ben Rosser
- Investigating Strip Till P & K Placement and Timing (in corn) by Ben Rosser
- Tillage and equipment articles on GoCorn.net by Greg Stewart