On the Farm

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May 29

PCD’s New Cover Crop Initiative and No-till Drill are Planting Seeds of Success

Posted on May 29, 2018 at 1:47 PM by Allan Warren

Pg 8 photoDon Meyer, the first official user of PCD’s no-till drill over-seeded 40 acres of Spanaway hayfield in April. By not tilling up his soil, Don is helping reduce the amount of soil and nutrients that runoff his property by over 200,000lbs per year!

The WSU cover crop workshop and field day held on April 17 had over 60 participants, who learned about integrating cover crops into PNW farming systems. Many of the field day participants stuck around to the late afternoon (and through a few rain showers) to receive the prerequisite training to operate PCD’s new no-till drill. If you missed that training opportunity, a professional video crew was on hand to capture all the action, and they will be producing an instructional video for potential users of the equipment.

We are now taking calendar reservations for the fall for the drill. So, if you are planning to use the no-till drill this fall to over-seed a pasture or hayfield, or to plant cover crops, don’t wait too long to receive the prerequisite training or to schedule your usage days.

PCD’s Crop Farm Specialist Alison Nichols has done research on saving money by buying seed in bulk. Unfortunately, this bulk buying strategy only pencils out for cover crop seed, but not for pasture seed. Alison will be putting in a group order for the fall, which will be available for pick-up here at the PCD office in Puyallup. Contact her for details on placing a cover crop seed order.

Also coming this fall, WSU Extension Puyallup will be conducting trials on pasture renovation using PCD’s no-till drill. They will determine what methods work best to decrease competition from existing pasture stands, and which pasture seed species and varieties work best for no-till pasture renovation. Those results will be discussed at a field day planned for next spring.

If you are planning to do any type of seeding, whether it is with or without PCD’s no-till drill, and no matter what type of crop you have, remember that weed management and fertilization are both important aspects of a successful planting. Please contact the PCD farm team if you need assistance with weed management recommendations, or want to take advantage of our first one’s free soil sampling program for pastures, hay fields and commercial crops. We are here to help!