The Sharp Edge: Strip-tilling soybeans with Wes Hart

Can twin-row soybeans flourish in a strip till world?

That’s a question Maizex Seeds’ agronomist Greg Stewart explores with Woodstock, Ont., farmer Wes Hart on the latest episode of The Sharp Edge on RealAgriculture.

Hart is a firm believer in the benefits of no-till corn, but he and his father, Doug, have never been satisfied with how no-till soybeans have performed on their farm. Determined to move away from full-width tillage, the Harts purchased a Soil Warrior strip-tiller in 2018. But before heading to the field they modified the machine to create 13-inch strips, giving them lots of room to fit the 7.5 inch spaced twin rows within the worked soil berm.

In this video, Wes Hart notes that they planted into mainly fall strips, but also spring test strips — they’re planning a 50/50 fall and spring strip till split for 2020. More modifications were required at planting. They built offset plates for their John Deere 1790 planter and moved row units over 7.5 inches so each front row-unit has a trailing unit behind it at 7.5 inches.

Check out Episode #1: The Sharp Edge: Strip tilling corn with Tony Balkwill

Hart was pleased with how the system worked in 2019. He tells Stewart that planting requires more attention to detail, including managing row unit cleaners and implement drift, but overall the planter set-up worked well. He also notes that spraying twin-row soybeans is much nicer than spraying 15-inch beans. “With the twin rows, you can get down there without tramping the beans. There’s less disease pressure that way, we’re getting better airflow throughout the season, and better dry down in the fall.”

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