4R Farming

Strip- Till Corn Minnesota

Strip-till and innovation have been a cornerstone of this corn and soybean farm in Minnesota. The farm has used strip-till for many years and in the last three years has added diversified cover cropping. The cover crops are applied in-season with the side dress fertilizer application. The farm also has a long tradition of working with a local university to conduct research projects on optimizing fertilizer use. In this relationship, the farm and the university work together to test new practices, fertilizer application and placement, soil testing options, and economics. The farm also applied micronutrients on an annual basis for corn production.


Changing 4R practices over time from basic to intermediate decreased cost per acre by $77.91. The addition of cover crops in the advanced management year increased cost over the intermediate practices in 2016, but was still $35.62 less than the basic management in 2014.

Cost of 4R Practice Implementation for Minnesota Corn

Yield Range: 214 to 252 bu/ac

Intermediate Practices Implemented

This farm has been implementing intermediate practices for more than 20 years and was an early adopter of strip-till placement of nutrient applications.

  • Changed from whole field sampling to grid sampling on an annual basis for research projects
  • Added urease inhibitor to side dress nitrogen application
  • Changed fertilizer application rates based on annual soil sampling and on-site university research project
  • Added a diversified cover crop application with side dress application

Environmental Metrics