Speaker program for inaugural National Strip-Tillage Conference released

Farm Forum

BROOKFIELD, Wis. — A first-of-its-kind event for growers practicing or considering strip-tillage will feature nearly 20 presentations over the course of 2 education-packed days in late July. Behind the theme of “Learning Strip-Till Together,” the inaugural National Strip-Tillage Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 30 and 31 will offer strip-tillers hundreds of tips and techniques from consultants, university experts and veteran strip-tillers.

The just-completed conference program, now available at, contains 7 general-session speakers, 12 classrooms and 30 roundtables over an information-packed 32 hours of in-depth strip-till sessions. In addition, registered attendees can sign up for an additional special 3-hour, soil-health workshop prior to the start of the event with world-renowned soil biologist Jill Clapperton.

Following is a sample of topics and speakers that will provide growers with an in-depth strip-till education at the Cedar Rapids Marriott:

• Jill Clapperton, principal scientist with Rhizoterra Inc., will conduct a special workshop the morning of Wednesday, July 30 prior to the official start of the event that will allow farmers to perform tests and discover the health of their own soils. Her afternoon general session talk will focus on why soil health is important and will be followed that evening by a classroom digging deeper into the ingredients and habitat needed for improved soil biology.

• Purdue University cropping systems and tillage specialist Tony Vyn will not only share why he thinks strip-till is close to being a perfect tillage system during a general session, but he will offer the do’s and don’ts of banding fertilizer in a strip-till system during a classroom.

• The afternoon general session on July 31 features two precision experts. Kenton, Ohio, strip-tiller Brian Watkins will show how he accounts for every dollar spent on his farm through precision tools. Steve Cubbage, owner of and precision specialist with Record Harvest in Nevada, Mo., will examine the emerging precision technologies strip-tillers ought to consider implementing.

• Robert Miller, technical director of the Agricultural Laboratory Proficiency Program, will reveal the impact strip-tillage has on soil fertility levels and how it might affect soil-test readings.

• Kelly Cooper, project manager for the Conservation Cropping Systems Project in Forman, N.D., will look at various cover-cropping methods with strip-till, including bio-strip-till.

• Iowa State ag engineer Mark Hanna will reveal the equipment setup options for seedbed preparation and residue management that strip-tillers need to consider.

• University of Minnesota Extension educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes will provide a Strip-Till 101 session for farmers new to strip-till that will outline a system’s approach for success.

• Veteran strip-tillers providing tips from years of hands-on experience include David Legvold of Northfield, Minn.; Jeff Reints of Shell Rock, Iowa; Charlie Hammer of Beaver Dam, Wis.; Frank Moore of Cresco, Iowa; and Keith Schlapkohl of Stockton, Iowa.

Darrell Bruggink, executive editor and publisher of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide and one of the organizers of the National Strip-Tillage Conference, says both experienced strip-tillers and farmers considering the adoption of strip-tillage practices will get dozens of practical tips, techniques and strategies to use in their operations during the 2-day event.

“Not only will farmers learn from these knowledgeable speakers, but the 30 Roundtable discussion sessions and the peer-to-peer hallway conversations offer plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get answers to strip-till challenges,” Bruggink says. “Our goal is to help strip-tillers identify actionable tips to use on their farm and find solutions to issues that challenge them so they are more productive and profitable.”

The final 8-page program can be viewed and downloaded at Registration is just $199 per person, with a special $179 rate for additional farm or family members.

The event is co-sponsored by Strip-Till Farmer and 10 industry-leading Title Sponsors, including Dawn Equipment Co., Environmental Tillage Systems, FHR, Ingersoll, Kuhn Krause, Montag Mfg., Orthman Mfg., Raven Industries, Thurston Mfg. (Blu-Jet) and Yetter Mfg. Co.