Foster Creek CD compared the costs of conventional tillage to direct seeding with the help of Kate Painter PhD, an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho, knowledgeable about farm economics.
We completed this economic comparison with producers and operators participating in our first direct seed grant awarded by the Washington Department of Ecology. Dr. Painter interviewed four participants and asked about their costs of chemicals, equipment, labor and their yields over the duration of the program for their direct seed (DS) and conventional tilled (CT) fields. The results included:
Direct seed tillage should increase the soil’s ability to hold water, reduce erosion, and gain organic matter. As Dr. Painter wrote in her summary, DS offers long term benefits in soil health that exceed costs for individual producers. We will be running more analyses next year to better reflect the cost and benefits of direct seed vs. conventional tillage as this is a small sample.
Click here to read the complete report. There is still room for producers and operators interested in trying direct seed through our third Washington Department of Ecology grant. If you are interested, please contact Amanda Ward at 509-449-2158.