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In addition to preparing the soil for planting, tillage can be an effective strategy for weed management. During a field trial, blue chalk was applied to the soil surface in areas where a tillage pass was made with a vertical tillage (VT) tool at a 3 degree, 5 degree and 9 degree gang angle setting.

Adjustable vertical tillage (VT) tools can easily allow you to till your fields more or less aggressively depending on the tool’s gang angle setting. In this video, Dr. Matt Darr shows the impact different gang angle settings have just below the soil surface.

Vertical tillage (VT) tools can be an effective way to maintain residue and prevent soil erosion while still preparing the soil for planting.  When you select a vertical tillage tool for your operation, consider these factors:

After the derecho passed through Iowa in early August, many farmers have been left with unharvestable fields. These fields may require additional management to prepare the soil for another crop next season. In this video, Dr. Matt Darr reviews the results of four tillage options five days after tillage, and the benefits of each tool to help you choose which option is right for your operation this fall.

Following the derecho event on August 10, millions of acres in Iowa face challenging conditions. In many cases the corn may be unharvestable. These unharvestable fields require some level of fall management to ensure the future crop can achieve even emergence and normal early plant growth.

As nutrient and land management practices continue to change, more growers are considering strip-till. Advances in equipment technology, GPS, and application control systems have helped to overcome many challenges growers typically associate with strip-till. Combine this with the many environmental and nutrient application advantages strip-till can offer, and this may be the right time to consider strip-till in your operation.

Whether you are thinking about trying strip-till or already using strip-till in your farming operation, the question of timing comes up—fall or spring? There are many factors that go into this decision, including availability of equipment and labor and weather and field conditions that change year to year. This question of fall or spring strip-tillage was the primary focus of a three-year study conducted from 2016 to 2018 at Iowa State University.