GETTING INVOLVED. Geoff Townsend (at right) of Campbellford, Ontario, bought his first no-till drill in 1989 to help meet the increasing demand for custom services. He now custom no-tills 4,000 acres (above) and serves on the board of the local Soil and Water Conservation District.

Custom Planters Offer Advice And Money-Making No-Till Ideas

Early adoption of no-till led to requests for assistance and, eventually, a business that supplements their own farming.

Good business sense plus compassion for their fellow no-till farmers have partnered to create a scattering of custom no-till planting and/or equipment rental enterprises. Here are solid ideas from five entrepreneurs to think about, whether you’re a veteran or novice no-tiller.

You don’t need new no-till planting equipment to do a good job. That’s the philosophy of Jeff Schmitt of Sherrill, Iowa. Schmitt custom plants no-till corn and soybeans, charges $17 per acre, including herbicide application behind the planter, and business is increasing.

He gets “great” seeding depth and uniform germination with a Case IH 955 planter that’s been a workhorse on the Schmitt farm for 20 years. He still pulls the planter with a 2-wheel-drive 8920 Case IH tractor.

Slow Down The Planter.

“Improving the odds for better seed placement might be an advantage of new Case IH or other modern-day planters over our older 955 models, but we overcome any deficit by slowing down. Other than that, the new row units really haven’t had many radical changes,” Schmitt says.

“I would like to have a 12-row planter, but our fields around here are so small that I’m not sure it would be practical,” he adds.

Schmitt strictly adheres to a planting speed rule of no more than 4.5 miles per hour. “If my schedule would allow it, I would never exceed 4 miles per hour. Everything is just so much better when you slow down.

“We feel that if you don’t plant it right, you might as well…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Ross ron

Ron Ross

Ron Ross pioneered the “What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002. He authored more than 100 of these articles.

A graduate of South Dakota State University’s agricultural journalism program, Ross spent most of his career as a writer and editor.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings