Local soil and water conservation districts have helped farmers try out a number of farm practices by purchasing equipment and making it available to farmers at a reasonable price.
Often it is a tool the farmer might not be ready to buy, but wants to try out. Or maybe he or she has a job to do – like seeding a pasture or a wildlife area – that only requires a certain tool for a short period of time.
The Vigo County Soil and Water Conservation District rents out this drill, owned by the district, for use by anyone needing to seed these types of areas. Recently, Terry Hayhurst, a local farmer, replaced coulters on the drill in his shop, and helped get it ready for the season. It's now available for rent.
The Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District has rented out a number of tools during the year, including Phillips harrows and other tools help people who are trying conservation tillage get a look at a new piece of equipment that might help them, but that they want to try before they buy.
Last fall, the district purchased a Salford fertilizer injector that can also apply cover crops, with the help of a grant from the Great Lakes Initiative. Several people tried it out, and several more want to try it.
Seeding cover crops in a timely fashion remains a big challenge for many wanting to make cover crops work, notes Greg Lake, Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District.
You will find Great Plains drills for seeding forages or for no-till drilling soybeans setting in parking lots at various district locations in southeast Indiana, including at the Rush/ Shelby joint office located on Indiana 44 just into Rush County.
The Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District has also been active through the years in making this kind of equipment available for farmers to try.
Contact your local soil and water conservation district to see what kind of equipment is available for rent in your area.