What is a No-Till Drill? A no-till drill is a very heavy drill with a specialized disk set-up that cuts through plant residue, places the seed at the correct depth and then presses the soil back over the seed for good soil to seed contact. Advantages to planting no-till includes erosion control, fuel and time savings. Previous crop residue left on the surface of the field protects soil from washing or blowing away. This is especially important on hilly fields subject to water erosion or on light sandy fields subject to wind erosion. Elimination of plowing and/or disking fields means fewer trips with the tractor across the field to be planted. Often this is best done well ahead of time. For example the fall prior to a spring planting of any kind since contact herbicides require plants to be green and growing in order to kill them. If you are seeding alfalfa in April, it’s just too early to get good control of quack grass because it isn’t growing much yet. Staff is available to evaluate any field you would like to plant no-till and can give you more options for the best weed control if asked to evaluate the field for a future planting.
Note: The drill is not available to be used on worked fields.
The district’s John Deere no-till drill is available to area landowners for a cost of $10.00 per acre. There have been 65 area landowners who have used the no-till drill since its purchase in 2000 on over 4,492 acres. Crops planted included alfalfa, oats, rape seed, clover, grasses, including switchgrass, birdsfoot trefoil, wildlife food plots and cover, soy beans, wheat and spinach. Crops are planted into the previous crop’s residue eliminating the need for tillage prior to planting, making it a great soil and energy conservation tool. If you are interested in using the drill call Jordan at the office 231-757-3707 ext. 5 for more information. He would be happy to look at your field prior to planting. He prefers taking a look at them in the Spring if you are interested in doing a late summer seeding and in the fall if you are interested in doing a spring seeding. No-till planting is something that should be planned well ahead of time whenever possible.