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Why no-till?

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

1. No-till Corn Planter Rentals

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 if you are interested in trying out this equipment, the sooner the better, because planting season gets quite busy!

No-till Planter Specifications (pdf)

No-till Planter Setup Tips (pdf)

No-Till Corn Planter Manual and Handbook

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:

2. Corn Planter Retrofit Funding

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.

Funding for this opportunity is running out! We will accept applications for no-till retrofits on a first-come first-serve basis until all funds are spent. If you are interested, please get in touch today! Call or email Amanda Littleton, at the Cheshire County Conservation District, at 603.756.2988 x4 or amanda@cheshireconservation.org

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