Together, David Stroberg and his family, operate Stroberg Land and Cattle in Hutchinson, Kan.
“I am a fourth generation farmer on the operation. My family emigrated from Sweden in the 1880s and has been running the farm ever since,” says Stroberg.
Stroberg Land and Cattle also expands to include the fifth generation of family farmers.
“Our farm is run by me and my wife, Susan, along with our children,” says Stroberg.
He explains that their 24-year-old son, Scott, is home from college and actively involved in the operation. Their two daughters also help on the farm; the eldest daughter, Andrea Kitch, comes home during harvest time and calving season. Amy helps between her studies at Kansas State University, where she is majoring in agricultural business.
The Strobergs farm on 5,000 cultivated acres of irrigated and dry land, where they grow corn, wheat, soybeans, grain sorghum and alfalfa.
“We also have an Angus cow-calf herd with about 450 cows and 450 calves,” he says.
To succeed on their minimum tillage operation, the family uses two different tillage tools from the Kuhn Krause equipment line.
“The only two tillage tools we use on the farming operation are the Kuhn Krause 4830 In-Line Ripper and the 30’ Excelerator®,” says Stroberg.
The Kuhn Krause 4830 is used on the farm to help fight soil compaction, which can lead to yield reduction.
“It is the perfect tool to help break up any compaction we have. It has varying points and wings on it that help obtain the optimal soil surface,” says Stroberg. “This ripper does minimal disturbance on the top of the soil, but yet it shatters and breaks up any compaction we have below the surface from about 7 to 10 inches below the ground.”
The 4830 In-Line Ripper is important agronomically because of the sandy soil that dominates the land.
“We are on sandy soil and the ripper leaves a lot of the residue on top to help prevent wind erosion and water erosion from causing us trouble,” he says.
With the Kuhn Krause 4830 In-Line Ripper, producers can expect better soil tillage, enhanced root penetration and increased use of nutrients in the soil. Using the in-line ripper helps to control soil compaction and also increases water infiltration while improving nutrient availability and uptake.
“We have been using an in-line ripper from Kuhn Krause for 12 years. This is the second ripper we have operated with,” says Stroberg. “I used the first one for 10 years and then I traded it in for a new model two years ago.”
In addition to the 4830 In-Line Ripper from Kuhn Krause, the farm also uses an Excelerator to enhance seedbed preparation and achieve optimal soil and residue mixing.
“The 30-foot Excelerator helps us size the corn stalks by chopping them into smaller pieces, while leaving a residue on top of the soil surface to prevent erosion,” says Stroberg. “It is built with uniquely shaped blades that help boost some of the stalks to the top of the soil.”
The Excelerator uses a four-step process to prepare the field. It begins by capturing and slicing residue using Kuhn Krause’s exclusive scalloped edge Excalibur® blades that start the soil mixing process. The cut and remove process follows. A second gang of Excalibur blades removes uncut soil at shallow depth settings. In this step, the blades lift soil and residue to the surface while minimizing furrowing and ridging.
In the third step, mix and anchor, Star Wheel™ treaders break up remaining soil clods and anchor residue into the soil surface. This helps protect the soil from wind and water erosion. In the last step, size and firm, the 24/7® soil conditioning reel delivers clod sizing and firming, leaving behind a level field.
“We have neighbors who use other vertical tillage systems that just chop the corn stalks and leave them on top, and then when we get a high rainfall, their stalks and soil float and end up in the ditches,” says Stroberg. “But the way the Kuhn Krause Excelerator is built, it has a tendency to chop the stalks up and attach them to the soil so that they do not float off when we do get rain or excessive wind.”
This season is the third year the Stroberg operation has used the Excelerator.
“It really does a good job,” he says. “We will definitely buy more equipment from Kuhn Krause because the company offers dependable equipment with great service. We have a good dealer in town, Prairie Land Partners, and between Kuhn Krause and Prairie Land Partners, they have given us nothing but the best.”