Strip Till Nitrogen Application

Keep nutrients in the Right Place, where crops can use them.

The farmer uses real-time kinematic precision guidance to apply N fertilizer in fall or early spring in a closely-controlled location relative to where the seed will be sown.

 Strip-till conservation systems use minimal tillage. They combine soil drying and warming benefits of conventional tillage and soil-protecting advantages of no-till by disturbing only the portion of soil that will contain the seed row.

Here we are using fall applied N with an RTK strip-till system and comparing it to a conventional chisel plow system.

A special feature at this site is the demonstration of N use efficiency (NUE) rate comparison, done with field-scale equipment, so that the farmer can apply the rate treatments and harvest the plots with conventional equipment without interrupting his normal production routine. This demonstrates a simple approach to on-farm research that every farmer can adopt.


The Traub farm is a multi-generational farm based in southern Livingston County, Ill. Since 1980, John and Bonnie have farmed with son John C. and his wife Diane. In 2008, son John Jacob Traub and his wife Kristin joined the operation.

The Traub’s grow corn, soybeans and specialty hybrid seed corn, as well as hybrid sunflowers. The operation includes over 4,000 acres and has grown steadily through teamwork and solid relationships.

Livingston County SWCD named the Traub’s Conservation Farm Family of 2010.

Conservation Systems

Strip-till corn and no-till beans in rotation cover the majority of our acres. A continuous corn system, matched with conservation mulch till and some strip-till, is used on our flatter and more productive farms or where manure is available for the fertility requirements.


Interested in trying one of our demonstration practices? Contact Terry Bachtold at 815-848-4455.

Right Source
Match fertilizer type to crop needs
  • Select appropriate nutrient sources for cropping system
  • Test soils
  • Consider N, P, K secondary and micronutrient
  • Consider enhanced efficiency fertilizers
  • Plan nutrient regimen
Right Time
Make nutrients available when crops need them
  • Time the application
  • Consider controlled release technologies and inhibitors
  • Choose fertilizer product
Right Place
Keep nutrients where crops can use them
  • Choose application method
  • Incorporate fertilizer
  • Use buffer strips
  • Use conservation tillage
  • Implement cover crop systems
Right Rate
Match amount of fertilizer to crop needs
  • Test soils
  • Yield goal analysis
  • Crop removal balance
  • Nutrient management planning
  • Plant tissue analysis
  • Record keeping
  • Variable rate technology
  • Site-specific management