One More Way to Seed Cover Crops During Harvest

Danville, Ohio, no-tiller Kevin Staats rigged his combine with a 34-foot boom, two hydraulic pumps and a Valmar air seeder to seed cover crops while harvesting.

A No-Tiller from the eastern Corn Belt found a way to turn mere conversations about seeding cover crops during harvest into a reality.

Kevin Staats, who no-tills 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans near Danville, Ohio, with his father Tom, just finished his first year of seeding cereal rye with a boom and small air seeder fastened to the back of his combine.

After seeding rye in mid-October across one third of his acres, it was greening up well a few weeks later.

Staats says he gave this approach a try after hearing his neighbor, Bob Heffelfinger, talk about seeding cover crops during harvest, and reading accounts of small air seeders being fastened to the front of combines to seed covers like annual ryegrass.

“I wanted to use a bigger hopper, so I mounted it on the back instead,” Staats says. “So far this year it’s working pretty well. I think we will do it again next year.”


In the Staatses’ project, Kevin started by purchasing a 28-bushel Valmar 2055 granular applicator, an old hydraulic tank off another combine and a second hydraulic motor, and rigged them up so one motor runs the fans on the seeder and the other runs the metering system.


Multitasker. Danville, Ohio, no-tillers Kevin and Tom Staats attached a Valmar 2055 granular applicator to the rear of their Case IH 7120 combine to seed cereal rye into corn or soybean stubble.

He also found a shaft that turns at the right speed and mounted…

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John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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