The no-till transplanter is an important tool in EFAO’s No-Till Vegetable Trials to show that no-till techniques can be successfully employed on a larger scale (>3 acre +) using machinery that is currently available.
RJ Equipment a small farm machinery fabricator in Blenheim, Ontario has been building a no-till version of their very successful plug planter for around 20 years. The no-till model has an extended toolbar to allow the use of large coulters and a shank to loosen the soil ahead of the plug transplanter unit which has additional double disc openers on the opener shoe and heavy down pressure springs to help close the planting slot.
Ken Laing will be using this transplanter to plant into winter killed sorghum-sudangrass and roller/crimped green crops of oats/peas and winter rye. The transplanted crops will be tomatoes, sweet corn and squash. We hope that we can also use the no-till transplanter in the fall for planting garlic into various cover crops that will winter kill.
Author: Ken Laing is an EFAO member-farmer and farmer-researcher leading EFAO’s No-Till Vegetable Trials on is farm, Orchard Hill Farm, near St Thomas, Ontario.