The Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is currently taking applications for the No-Till Incentive Program. A $10.00/acre incentive payment (limited to 50 acres) is available to first time no-tillers in Cherokee County.
Those interested should stop by the USDA Service Center at 314 Lake Street in Cherokee or call 712-225-4151. Applications must be approved before the practice is started.
Experienced no-tillers enjoy many benefits from no-tilling. No-tillers use substantially less fuel as heavy tillage is eliminated. Not doing tillage in the spring means they can focus their time on planting.
When the combine leaves cornfields in the fall, they don't have to worry about working down corn stalks. Yield records show that yields on no-tilled fields are competitive and continue to increase over time.
The soil clearly benefits from no-till. Soil quality benefits begin once full-width tillage is eliminated, but it takes a couple of years to visually see that a change has really occurred. Earthworm activity becomes evident helping crop residues naturally break down eventually maintaining an equilibrium level. Soil becomes crumbly, not hard, and doesn't crust so easily.
Another important benefit is that when a heavy rain is forecast, no-tillers seldom worry about water movement and soil loss.
It takes a very strong downpour before water runs in long-term no-till fields.