Columbia Basin growers can rent district’s no-till drill
The Grant County Conservation District is partnering with Washington State University Extension to offer agricultural operators the use of a 1590 John Deere no-till drill on irrigated fields in the Columbia Basin.
The 15-foot box drill is designed to plant through crop residue on the soil surface. It is now in the Moses Lake area and is available for rent.
While farmers in other parts of the country have used this practice successfully for decades, it is relatively new to irrigated regions of the western U.S. Because these no-till drills are scarce in the Columbia Basin, the district is offering the drill to agricultural producers for their own fields.
The rate to rent is $10 per acre, plus a $25 maintenance fee; a 50% cost share is available for fields within the district.
These are some advantages of no-till planting:
• eliminates tillage passes, which can save farmers time and money
• helps build soils
• controls wind erosion
• increases water infiltration rates
To rent the drill, contact the district at 509-765-9618 or see columbiabasincds.org. For questions about direct seeding, call WSU Extension agronomist Andy McGuire at 509-754-2011, ext. 4313.
Water management program
In other activities for the district, it has partnered with the Grant County Public Utility District to develop the 2015 Irrigation Water Management Cost Share Program for area growers.
Sign-up for the program has closed. The cost-share rate is $5.72 per acre. The program is limited to 60,000 acres, so a random drawing will be held.
For more information, email your field identification number to email@example.com or visit the district office at 1107 S. Juniper Drive in Moses Lake.
Criteria for program
Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for the cost-share program:
• All irrigation systems must have electric pump stations (gravity and diesel do not qualify).
• Electricity must be served by Grant County PUD.
• Fields selected must not be enrolled in any other IWM cost-share program.
Participants must perform the following:
• install at least one soil moisture monitoring probe per controllable unit
• provide a graph for each field of documented soil moisture readings for the entire season
• provide total precipitation in acre-inches for each field at season end, including rain and irrigation
• submit a Participant Expense Form
• document daily evapotranspiration for the field throughout the irrigation season
• document projected, scheduled irrigation recommendations through season
• provide a detailed field map
• complete a Farmer Data Sheet
The benefits of irrigation water management are reduced pumping costs, more efficient fertilizer use and more careful irrigation of drought-sensitive crops.
This article published in the May, 2015 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.
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