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Tillage Evolved on Mike Shuter's Farm

Tillage Evolved on Mike Shuter's Farm
Master Farmer looks for yield, yet wants what's best for the soil.

More than 20 years ago I first visited Mike Shuter on his farm near Frankton. He had just sworn off monstrous secondary finishing tools rigged up to his planter and was converting to no-till. He was happy with the results. But Shuter is a thinker and an innovator. If there was a better solution to all the problems on his relatively heavy central Indiana soils, he wanted to find it.

The next time I saw him he was into variable-rate applications of fertilizer. But he wasn't hiring someone to do it. He was pulling a spreader behind his own tractor, paying attention to his own maps. I still remember riding the tractor. It was one of the first times I became fully acquainted with variable-rate application of fertilizer.

Fast forward another several years. Only a few years back he decided his ground, at least, could benefit from fall strip-till. It should leave row areas exposed to dry faster in the spring, so he could get over his acres in a more timely fashion. He was already experimenting with using GPS to set up the strips, and he was pulling a fertilizer spreader behind to deep-place potassium and phosphorus.

Now, he's refined the strip-till system. He's refining his precision farming capabilities, bringing agriculture down to the true since most people believe it can be. He still no-tills soybeans after using narrow rows in

Mike's son, Patrick, is also picking up on the value of reduced tillage on the farm. He has joined Mike in the farming operation.

Congratulations to Mike Shuter and family. Give them a hat tip if you live in their area and see Mike or one of his family members 

TAGS: Soybeans
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