CIG No-Till & Cover Crop Pilot Project
Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development, through a USDA NRCS CIG Grant (Conservation Innovation Grant), created a no-till and cover crop equipment exchange pilot program. The purpose of the project is to introduce no-till equipment to aid the implementation of soil health principles such as organic cover crop and no-till planting on Connecticut farms. The program fosters collaborative education and use of the no-till equipment to crop producers in two geographically diverse areas of CT.
CT RC&D selected two hub locations where the no-till equipment will be housed. The equipment is available for use by selected farms in the surrounding area. The primary goal is to make no-till equipment available to reduce the cost and risk of adopting no-till crop production. Reported benefits of no-till production suggests reduced farm inputs (herbicides, fertilizers, irrigation) and improved soil health and crop productivity. The concept of using equipment attachments rather than use of herbicides is nothing new, however it’s underutilized in CT. By implementation of this project, more agriculture producers will have the opportunity to cooperatively use the no-till equipment, develop a network for information sharing and shared interests, and implement no-till and cover crops on their farms, increasing soil health without individually buying each of the equipment aides on their own.
Project collaborators include USDA NRCS, CT NOFA, Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Inc., Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, Inc., Granby Agricultural Commission, Salmon River Watershed Partnership and The Last Green Valley.
Pilot Project Underway
CT RC&D selected two farm equipment hub hosts - Mountain Dairy in Storrs, CT and Sub-Edge Farm in Farmington, CT.
Each hub hosts selected area farms, and allows cooperative use of the equipment, and provides an educational network among the farms. Each farm equipment hub contains (1) no-till seed drill and (1) roller crimper.
The 2019-2020 CIG Equipment Manual can be viewed here.
Mountain Dairy – host
Still River Farm
Heckler Brothers Farm
(1) 15.5’ no-till roller crimper
(1) 7’ No-till drill
Sub Edge Farm – host
Bristol’s Farm Market
Fort Hill Farm
(1) 10.5’ no-till roller crimper
(1) 5.5’ no-till drill
Check back for upcoming farm tours and workshops
- Cover Crops & No-Till Agriculture - University of Vermont
- No-Till, Organic, and Roller Crimper: Making It Work - Farm Progress
- Roller Crimping Cereal Rye: A Real World Farming Example - Cover Crop Exchange
- Rolling Crimping: Champlain Valley Crop, Soil, & Pasture - UVM Extension
- Roller Crimper Notes - VA USDA NRCS
- Six Things Mother Never Warned You About Using Roller Crimpers - Rutgers University