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Reducing tillage or eliminating it from your regime can improve your soil’s structure and stability, water infiltration and water-holding capacity, organic matter content, temperature, moisture, and beneficial micro-organisms, and reduce compaction, runoff, erosion, ponding, and other issues.
It can be hard to change the way you farm, and expensive to buy new equipment, which is why we can provide farmers with technical and financial assistance to try out no-till practices.
Pairing no-till with cover crops provides even more soil health benefits. But, the cover crop presents a challenge when its time for spring planting. You can borrow a special no-till roller crimper corn planter for planting corn directly into your cover crop. The roller crimper, usually with the help of herbicide, terminates the cover crop and creates a weed-blocking, moisture-retaining mat. Once you’ve decided to go no-till for good, we might be able to provide you with funding to modify your own corn planter.
LEARN MORE: Successful No-till for NH Dairy Farmers (pdf)
Two opportunities for farmers
The NH Association of Conservation Districts has four no-till corn planters equipped with roller crimpers that are available to borrow. If you plant silage corn, sweet corn, or squash and you also plant cover crops, you may be eligible to borrow this equipment to try out no-till planting for yourself. There are three larger planters (4 row), and one smaller planter (2 row). Contact your local Conservation District or click the sign up button if you are interested in trying out this equipment, the sooner the better, because planting season gets quite busy!
The roller crimper corn planters are owned by NHACD, and the use of the four pieces is coordinated by District staff in four geographic regions:
- Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, coordinated by Amanda Littleton, amanda@cheshireconservation.
org, 603-756-2988 x116
- Hillsborough, Merrimack and Belknap Counties, coordinated by Kerry Rickrode, firstname.lastname@example.org
603.673.2409 ex. 100
- Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties, coordinated by Pam Gilbert, email@example.com
(603) 353 – 4652 ext.103
- Rockingham and Strafford Counties, coordinated by Alena Warren, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cheshire, Rockingham and Strafford County Conservation Districts obtained grants to help farmers pay for modifications to their corn planters in order to make them work in a no-till system. Any New Hampshire farmer with a corn planter and a desire to go no-till may be eligible.
If approved for funding, a technical expert will work with you to determine what parts you need to buy to convert your planter to no-till. The equipment guide below contains all of the parts that can be cost-shared, but approved costs are determined on a case-by-case basis. The Conservation Districts will reimburse 75% of approved costs through this program.
Apply by February 1st, 2019 to be considered in the next round of corn planter retrofit funding. To apply, you can either contact your local Conservation District, or sign up using the link below and we will contact you to finish the application process.