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THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2008

CONTACT: Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
Cecil Settle, executive director
N.C. Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation
(919) 510-4599

No-till grass drills begin arriving to help renovate pastures

Farmers will be able to rent them in 25 local soil and water districts

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today announced the arrival of the first load of equipment that farmers in 25 soil and water conservation districts can rent to renovate drought-damaged pastures.

The N.C. Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation purchased 25 Truax Flex II-88 no-till grass drills for use in the districts. The drills will enable farmers to re-seed existing pastures without plowing.

“The 25 districts selected by the foundation to receive these drills contain more than 15,600 farms and 809,000 acres of pasture land,” Troxler said. “A lot of that land needs to be renovated before it can be truly productive again. Having these drills available should help speed up the process.”

Five drills arrived this week at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Mountain Research Station in Waynesville for distribution to soil and water districts in Buncombe, Caldwell, Lincoln, Madison and Rutherford counties. Each district will get a drill.

Twenty additional drills will arrive at delivery sites across the state over the next month. These drills will go to the following districts: Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Orange, Person, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin.

The foundation selected districts based on need and pasture acreage, said Cecil Settle, the group’s executive director.

Farmers in the selected districts should contact their district office about renting a drill. Districts will set the rental fees, but the foundation has recommended a range of $8 to $10 per acre, Settle said.

“They’re really good for small operators who might lack the resources to buy one themselves for a small number of acres,” he said, adding that the drills can be used with a 40-horsepower tractor.

The foundation purchased the drills using an allocation of $370,800 approved earlier this month by the Council of State. The council is composed of the governor, Commissioner Troxler and eight other elected state leaders.

-bal 2,4-

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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