Gaston County


Natural Resources LogoNatural Resources

What is No Till Drilling?

In 1962, on a Haywood County farm in North Carolina, farmer John Kirkpatrick used a homemade tilling unit to prepare a narrow tilled zone which was later followed with a regular planter. Erosion control on his steeped sloped farm was the major goal. This was called "sod planting" into an old fescue sod.

No-till has evolved in North Carolina over the last 45 years to become the most important conservation practice for cropland. The change in the attitude of farmers has played an important role in making no-till farming a widely used practice. Change was hard when fathers, grandfathers, and even great grandfathers believed that deep plowing and cultivation was essential to grow a good crop.Farmers now consider "trash farming" as sometimes no-till is called, a compliment and not an indication of lazy farming.

No till planting provides very effective erosion control and moisture conservation measures. With this form of conservation tillage, the planting equipment places the crop seeds directly into the soil through the residue of a previous crop without any plowing or disking. This leaves most of the soil surface undisturbed by tillage and protected by the existing crop residue. The pre existing crop residue reduces runoff, thus preventing erosion and conserving water for crop uses. Crops can be produced while making soil improvements.

Gaston Natural Resources is proud to offer citizens of Gaston County use of a No-Till Drill for a small fee.

Contact Jason Cathey of the Natural Resource Department for details. 704-922-2152.

The Gaston County Soil & Water Conservation District

is pleased to announce the arrival of its new No-Till Drill, available for the 2009 fall planting season. This No-Till Drill, awarded to the District by the North Carolina Foundation of Soil & Water Conservation and the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund, promises to be a key component in greater crop production for Gaston County Agricultural Producers.

No-Till planting is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Increased organics in the soil
  • Increased moisture retention in the soil
  • Reduced sheet erosion
  • High plant yields
  • Increased carbon sequestration
  • Decreased seed usage

For most agricultural producers, No-till drilling offers an alternative to traditional tillage that can produce better crop yields, even in times of drought.

What type of equipment will you need to use this drill?

You will need a tractor that is at least 35 HP with Hydraulic attachments.

What is the cost of renting this drill?

The cost is $10 per acre, which is for basic maintenance on the drill.

If you are interested in renting Gaston Soil & Water Conservation Districts No-till Drill, please contact Natural Resources Conservationist, Jason Cathey at (704) 922-2152 for complete information and operational instruction.