Chris Andre

Sugarcane, Soybeans and Rice Farmer
7500 acres in St. Martin Parish of New Iberia, Louisiana, USA
P-50 Sugarcane units

I, along with my twin brother Mike, and oldest brother Hugh, are 1st generation farmers that farm 7500 acres of sugarcane, soybeans, and rice. Most of our acres are situated  along the bayou teche on St. Martin parish, Louisiana. In sugarcane harvest, we usually wind up with about 8-12 tons of residue per acre after the leaves are extracted as the harvester passes through the field.

The conventional way of getting rid of the residue is by burning it off. If we leave residue on top of the ratoon crop, we see a significant yield loss on the next year’s crop.We also farm in the midst of schools, hospitals, neighborhoods, and nursing homes. Burning in some areas has become a real problem with us being in such close proximity.

In 2013, I was looking for a way to sweep the residue off of the ratoon and incorporate it into the furrows enough so that in the spring we would not have problems with  the residue.

Well, the stars aligned and I found out about Steven Peterson and Niffty Ag. He was generous enough to send a demo unit so I could experiment with his equipment. In 2014, we worked diligently and came up with a design and Steven named it the “cane unit”. We also worked on row cleaner angles and positions of the row cleaners in south Texas.

We have also worked together and designed a cane opener that is completely adjustable. In 2014 we swept and strip tilled about 1500 acres and increased our acreage to 2500 acres In 2015. We plan to keep increasing our acreage so we are not liable for the smoke that is put off by burning. In some instances burning is the only option but we are trying to minimize our impact through strip tilling.  I have a few pictures to show Steven’s great work and great designs.

Sugar Cane Unit

Chris Bowman

Corn and Soybean farmer
1800-2000 Acres In Dewitt, Iowa
p-40 Strip TIll Units

My name is Chris Bowman from DeWitt, IA. I farm with my father in eastern Iowa we raise corn and soybeans. I strip till around 1800-2000 acres of corn annually using Niffty p40 units. We started strip tilling in 2007 and have experienced improved yields and better soil health using the strip till system. Our rig is equipped with dry fertilizer and NH3. We are seeing better fed plants by banding nutrients under the row where a majority of the roots are.

The Niffty P40 has been very reliable and will run in tough conditions. They are very heavy duty row units and the Niffty NH3 shank is the best NH3 knife I have ever seen, placing NH3 under the shank is a design unique to this shank. The deeper placed NH3 increases crop safety on spring applied fertilizer. The strip quality is very good as the units make a residue free strip even in high yielding, heavy residue continuous corn . We are seeing yields in continuous corn yield right with rotated acres. These are the most well built strip till units I have found on the market. The adjustability of the unit can keep it running in changing conditions. After 3 seasons use we are seeing very little maintenance and wear issues other than normal changing wear points on the shank.

The overall build quality of Niffty equipment is excellent and I recommend anyone considering strip till to take a look.

Nathan Finley

Corn and Soybean farmer
800 Acres In Ramsey, Illinois
Gen 3 Strip TIll Units

I am 32 years old and fully took on my grandpa’s 800 acre row crop operation located in Central Illinois in 2015. Along with it came low grain prices and challenging weather conditions. In the spring of 2016 I couldn’t afford to purchase a strip till rig but with tight margins I couldn’t afford not to. Stephen set me up with an 8 row rigid 3 point mounted bar with Gen 3 units. I ran Anhydrous Ammonia in the spring and with the results I am seeing my investment is definitely paying off!

Ground View

Caleb Hunt

Row Crop farmer
5000 Acres
Gen 3 Strip TIll Units

Our family has been strip tilling since the 80’s. I strip about 5000 acres per year mainly in the fall. Dry and NH3. The new gen 3 units are a big improvement over anything else I have used. I have had four previous systems. For me the two main things are having a machine that will just go without being worked on and having something that can do a good job across different soil types and crops without needing adjustments.To me the biggest features of these units are:

How well the independent row cleaners work. They will not throw dirt in soft sandy ground but will still move a lot of trash in high yield corn on corn.

The shank will handle rocks, I used to go through 50 knives a year, with this new design I only changed 2. That is a huge timesaver! Also they create a better looking berm than anything else I have used especially  when running shallow, in wet ground, or when running in a track.

The whole unit requires no maintenance or adjustment.

The unit has good clearance for dirt mud and trash to flow through yet is not heavy.

Other machines/manufactures I have run didn’t pay attention to detail, require too much maintenance, don’t have enough clearance, require too much adjusting, and often don’t do a good job.  I have spent so much time over the years in the summer getting ready and throughout the fall and even into winter fighting with strip till machines when I should have been covering acres I am very relieved to have something that does so much better! That’s why I wrote this.