Commonwealth Journal

Local News

August 28, 2013

‘No-till’ tobacco setter helping growers save on labor costs

Somerset — A no-till tobacco setter made available by the Pulaski County Soil Conservation District has proven a boon in labor-saving costs to growers.

  The tobacco setter and trailer, purchased with a $25,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, allows tobacco to be set in unplowed ground the same as no-till corn.

  “We are the only conservation district in Kentucky that has a piece of equipment like this,” said Rodney Dick, chair of Pulaski County Soil Conservation District. “We make available types of expensive farm equipment that individual farmers often don’t buy,” he said.

 Laughingly, Dick said he remembers setting tobacco with a peg after rain wet the ground ... and I don’t want any more of that.” Mechanical tobacco setters are used today, but, without no-till equipment, tobacco plants are set in plowed ground.

  John Burnett, Buck Creek Watershed coordinator, is in charge of managing farm equipment rentals and Jon Anderson, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist, works with farmers who take advantage of the program.

  An application for the grant to purchase the no-till tobacco setter was submitted in February to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF),” Burnett said. The grant was approved and the no-till setter was delivered in April in time to set tobacco this spring.

 NFWF provides grants on a competitive basis to protect imperiled species, promote healthy oceans and waterways, improve wildlife habitat, advance sustainable fisheries and conserve water for wildlife and people.

  Savings to growers are the expense of not plowing and tilling the field. Environmentally, no-till farming prevents erosion and leaching of nutrients from the soil into waterways. The two-row no-till tobacco setter is equipped with a roller crimper that compacts the cover crop to limit the shade effect on growing tobacco plants, Burnett noted.

  Tobacco apparently grows as well as no-till corn. “You treat the tobacco plants as you would any growing no-till crop,” said Burnett.

 Growers renting the no-till setter may set the first acre of tobacco free, and up to five acres for a fee of $20 per acre. Dick said the machine was used in 12 area counties this spring, setting a total of 105 acres of tobacco.

  Called a share-use equipment program, the no-till tobacco setter is one of several pieces of equipment made available to farmers by the Pulaski County Soil Conservation District. The district has three no-till drills for pasture renovation, a fence-post driver, a weed wiper for controlling Johnson grass and a boomless pasture sprayer to control noxious weeds has been purchased and is expected to be delivered soon.

  The Pulaski County Soil Conservation District is governed by a seven-member board of directors.

1
Text Only
Local News
News Live
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks