GFM Network News


Todd Botterill says strip till can offer lower fuel and equipment costs.

The profit in strip till

There is increasing interest in strip till. 
When considering it for your farm, think 
about profit and conservation, not just yield

Strip till is becoming a common practice through much of the U.S. corn belt, especially in Highly Erodable Land (or HEL ground) areas where the U.S. National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has strict guidelines against working the full width of the seedbed. Many wonder if this practice can be transferred to Western Canada, especially with […] Read more

Using a planter

Editor’s note: Todd Botterill, of Botterill Sales at Newton, Man., deals with many farmers who are buying or looking at planters. Lately I’ve been inundated with a wide range of questions about planters. Farmers’ questions range from basic (“What is a planter?”) to detailed (“What difference would I see with a 0.2 mm hole size change in […] Read more


Sorting through vertical tillage, part five

Todd Botterill finishes the vertical tillage discussion with a look at 
rotary implements and whether compact disks make good fit


This is the final instalment of a five-part series on vertical tillage. Rotary machines This group includes several different kinds of machines and can be the most interesting to look at. It’s group that is near to my heart as it includes rotary harrows, which was the product that introduced me to vertical tillage many […] Read more

Sorting through vertical tillage, part four

This time we look at vertical tillage implements that are a little 
more aggressive when it comes to moving dirt

Editor’s note: This is the fourth of a series of five articles about vertical tillage. In the last instalment, Todd Botterill explained that there are three categories of surface tillage tools: coulter, disk and rotary machines, and then went on to discuss coulter machines. Rotary machines will be covered in the instalment in the next […] Read more


Sorting through vertical tillage, part three

Once you’ve removed the density layers in your fields, you’re ready to start using vertical tillage implements that fall into the surface tillage category

Surface tillage tools. This is by far where the most interest in vertical tillage tools exists today. These tools are really designed not to put density layers back into the soil after it has been worked. They aren’t designed to remove the layers, just keep from doing the damage again. These tools started with farmers […] Read more

Sorting through vertical tillage, part two

Establishing a vertical tillage system on your farm means first getting rid of compaction layers. That may require some deep tillage first

Editor’s note: This is the second instalment of a five-part series. Believe it or not, that old chisel plough of yours in the back yard is a vertical tillage tool, assuming it has spikes on it as opposed to sweeps. This group of tools is used for the first step in the vertical tillage transition, […] Read more


Sorting through vertical tillage, part one

In this first instalment of a five-part series, Todd Botterill takes a look at the new movement to vertical tillage, what it really means and how to make the conversion on your farm

Vertical tillage is all the rage today. You can’t turn around without seeing a new vertical tillage machine or hearing about one. For those of us who have been involved with vertical tillage since the term was first coined, the recent pandemonium can be bittersweet. It feels good to have the recognition, and know that […] Read more