More than 40 presenters will present in-depth coverage of no-till and strip-till topics during the four-day National No-Tillage Conference (January 13-15 in Des Moines, Iowa). The annual event is hosted by No-Till Farmer (, a title in the Lessiter Publications Ag Division that also includes Farm Equipment, Farm Catalog, Rural Lifestyle Dealer, Conservation Tillage and Ag Equipment Intelligence.

Included in the program are the following key sessions of interest to equipment dealers.

 “Tried-And-True No-Till Planter Tune-Up Tips.”

A manager of 4,500 acres, Kevin Kimberley has made it a high priority to expand the performance of no-till planters. The Maxwell, Iowa, grower and consultant will share the winning no-till planter modifications and setups he’s experimented with — as well as trouble-shooting tips — to help you achieve flawless stands and topnotch yields in 2010.

With no-tillers planting more acres faster — often under more challenging corn-on-corn, high-residue situations — Kimberley will review the necessities and roles of coulters, trash wheels, closing wheels and other attachments in gaining picket-fence stands. The patent holder of the Accu-Flow nozzle for anhydrous knives will also examine winning fertilizer delivery systems for no-till planters.

“Equipment Modifications That Enhance No-Till Performance.”

Veteran no-tiller Jim Leverich will relate how the modifications he’s made to his no-till planter have been key to his no-till success.

The Sparta, Wis., no-tiller and No-Till Farmer columnist will address his efforts to achieve optimum row spacing and population, pinpoint seed and starter placement, reduce compaction, improve horsepower efficiency, handle residue effectively, and manage fertilizer placement, sources and timing — all important keys to turbocharging a no-till system.

An engineer and University of Wisconsin educator who has designed and implemented his planter setup, Leverich will show how blending these modifications, along with new precision agriculture technologies, can help you develop a better functioning no-till system that will lead to top-notch performance, perfect stands, optimum yields and better farm profitability

 “Pushing No-Till Corn Yields Higher With Twin Rows.”

What seemed like an oddity a few years ago may now be a “direction” in planting corn — and soybeans, grain sorghum and sunflowers. Twin-row systems have increased corn yields 5% to 10% and, in some cases, much more. Genetics are also changing and to realize the full yield potential of corn, many seed companies see populations quickly increasing by 10,000 plants per acre or more from today’s typical stand counts.

Tom Evans, vice president of marketing for Great Plains Mfg., will show the agronomic benefit of twin rows and the associated yield increases documented over the past 10 years. He’ll also show you how to incorporate twin rows into high-residue systems like no-till, strip-till or vertical tillage

“Is Strip-Till The Right System For Your Customers?”

No-till corn acres today represent half of the no-tilled soybeans acres, with many producers opting for minimum-till corn due to struggles or a lack of patience making no-till corn work in their soils. Strip-till has proven to be a middle ground for farmers striving to get closer to a no-till scenario, or a next-best scenario for producers who have difficulties no-tilling corn.

Kevin Kimberley will share the best practices for establishing a well-functioning strip-till system, including setups that build properly sized, functional berms in either fall or spring strip-till trips. He’ll also look at fertilizer delivery options and setups for delivering accurate, effective fertilizer placement. The Maxwell, Iowa, strip-tiller and consultant will also review common strip-till challenges that limit corn yields and offer trouble-shooting tips to help you identify and solve problems.

“Managing No-Till Corn Residue With Those Tough Bt Stalks.”

One of the biggest challenges no-tillers face today is the tougher environment brought about by stalks that don’t decompose as quickly as they used to, as well as increasing corn-on-corn acres. A higher degree of fungicide use and the increase in Bt hybrids appear to be key factors in dealing with corn stalks, says Marion Calmer.

The Alpha, Ill., no-tiller will share residue management strategies starting at harvest-time all the way through to at-plant techniques the following spring. He’ll look at ways you can accelerate decomposition, particularly following a late harvest, as well as the pros and cons of various chopping heads and stalk roll options. You’ll learn what he finds to be an acceptable level of surface tillage in the fall, all in an effort to create a valuable mattress of residue instead of a mat.

 “X Marks The Spot — Using Precision To Increase Profitability.”

With the potential built into today’s corn hybrids, Clay Mitchell says a no-tiller can achieve yields that were unattainable just a few years ago and still produce up to 100 bushels per acre less than what’s possible with his soil quality and weather conditions. In fact, the Buckingham, Iowa, no-tiller and strip-tiller says both land rents and seed prices are being set by those farmers who meet that potential.

Being cost-effective means it’s just as important to know what inputs and technologies to cut out of your no-till system as it is to know which ones to buy, he says. A student of precision systems,

Mitchell will reveal which technologies have become old school, and which ones are the rising stars that can improve your bottom line and be more efficient, too/

“Making Sense — And Dollars — From All That Precision Data.”

The reams of data you’re collecting from your no-till fields is enough to make you dangerous if you don’t know how to apply it. In fact, Clay Mitchell believes you’re likely not using that data to capture the highest possible value. For example, the Buckingham, Iowa, no-tiller and strip-tiller says precision farming data is typically used for creating variable-rate prescription maps, which only produce small cost savings.

Mitchell will take a different approach and look at how the data you’re collecting can be used to drive land improvements or capture a much greater value of yield improvements. He’ll explore the new technologies for automated control of tile plows, ditchers and scrapers that allow the novice to get extra value out of an existing machinery fleet.

“Practical Tips for Raising High-Yielding, No-Till Twin-Row Corn.”

For 8 years, Greg Selbrede has seen corn yields increase with the use of 8-inch-wide, twin-row corn on 30-inch centers. The Sparta, Wis., no-tiller will discuss how twin rows offer the benefits of narrower rows without making major changes to his equipment lineup.

Producing corn for both grain and livestock feed, Selbrede will outline how twin-row corn has helped him produce more forage along with higher yields and will share practical equipment setup tips necessary for the production and harvest of twin-row corn. He’ll also share situations where he relies on vertical tillage to improve no-till corn stands.

“Lessons Learned From Strip-Tilling In The Spring Vs. Fall.”

Jeff Reints has worked with nearly every corn production system, having switched from conventional tillage to no-till in the ‘90s and then transitioning to strip-till in the last decade. The Shell Rock, Iowa, strip-tiller will describe the steps he took in moving to strip-till, and how he settled on building strips in the spring vs. the fall, including the critical differences in building berms during the two seasons.

Reints will reveal how he determines fertilizer application rates, and will share visuals of the crop’s response to reduced applied phosphorus and potassium rates by blending the fertilizer in strips where the corn can access it more quickly. He’ll also cover some of the GPS and prescription farming technologies used in his operation.

More than 700 farmers, dealers and industry experts are expected to gather in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 13-16 for the 18th Annual National No-Tillage Conference.

Corporate sponsors include Syngenta, SFP, Agro-Culture, Bayer Crop Science, Oregon Ryegrass, Equipment Technologies/Apache Sprayer, Agrotain, Case IH, Blu-Jet, Great Plains, Titan Tire and Trimble.
To watch a video on the annual conference click here.

To view the entire 12-page Conference Program detailing this event, click here.

For more information or to register for the event, contact Lessiter Publications at 866-839-8455.