Ask farmers about fall versus spring strip-building and you get convincing arguments for both.

Choosing spring or fall strip-till “depends on so many factors; only you can decide,” says Brad Meister, Bourbon, Ind. “Soil type, coulter machine or shank machine, whether you have any erodible land, the amount of time you have in the fall to do it; how long it takes for your ground to mellow out in the spring, and whether you put down phosphorus or potassium with it.”

Consider Iowa farmer Jim Sladek, who believes so strongly in spring strip-till that he’s willing to staff up with skilled operators in the busy planting season to make it happen.

“It’s important to use the right strip-till equipment for spring operation,” says the Iowa City continuous-corn farmer, for “shallower spring operations.” He uses a Dawn Pluribus, “a coulter-based unit designed for wetter spring soils,” he says. “Much different from a shank-style, deep-rip-type unit used in the fall. I build my spring strip, let it dry off, then plant,” he says.

Corn+Soybean Digest asked strip-tillers which season they prefer for stripping; the answers hinge on people’s soils, equipment and manpower.