Muskogee County Conservation District Receives No-Till Drill

(Another Success Story: Earlier in the year the district received land and financial donations for conservation reserve. Click here for more.)

In the fall of 2008 Muskogee County Conservation District (MCCD) purchased and put to work a new Great Plains No-Till drill. Grants from the Cherokee and Creek Nations and other assistance made the purchase possible.

Standing in front of the no-till drill, from left, are Audrey Adney and Rodney Farris, MCCD directors; Trish Kloeckler, MCCD secretary; Andy Qualls, MCCD equipment manager; Clay Pope, OACD executive director; Butch Garner, MCCD director; Sen. Earl Garrison; Rep. Jerry McPeak; Rick Clovis, Creek Nation OSU Extension educator; Ken Silver, MCCD chairman; Lester Ligons, Creek Nation tribal resource conservationist; and Mike Flud, Creek Nation chief of staff.

“We are especially grateful to Rep. Jerry McPeak and Sen. Earl Garrison for their help in getting sponsors together to help fund this very valuable and important piece of equipment for Muskogee County,” said Andy Qualls, MCCD equipment manager.

Qualls said he had not had luck getting a grant to help purchase the equipment until he contacted Sen. Garrison who said he would see if he could help. Sen. Garrison contacted Rep. Jerry McPeak and explained the benefits of no-till equipment for MCCD. Rep. McPeak contacted the Cherokees and Creeks and other groups and scheduled a meeting at the MCCD office.

“I made a presentation at the meeting where representatives from Creek Nation, Cherokee Nation , Muskogee Development District, OACD (Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts) and others completely agreed on the need for the equipment and committed to working toward finding a collective means of funding the drill,” Qualls said. “We received tentative commitments from the Cherokee and Creek Nations along with a matching commitment of 319 funds from the Conservation Commission. From that point on it was only a few weeks before we received the checks from the Cherokees and Creeks and the allocation from OCC,” he said. “The order for the drill was placed the same week that the final part of the funding — the allocation from OCC — was received and the drill came in eight months later. We made about half a dozen rentals last fall and are receiving quite a few inquiries so far this winter,” Qualls said.

The drill is used for planting grass, wheat and clover as well as pasture mixtures. There are some clovers and warm season grasses and other crops that can be planted in the spring and summer seasons.

“We have been renting the drill for $125 per day, and planting 10-20 acres per day has not been uncommon,” Qualls said. The drill is equipped with a regular seed box, a small seed box for clovers and similar seeds, and a fluffy seed box for native grasses. Qualls pointed out that the Muskogee County Oklahoma State University Extension Service, 918-686-7200, is a good source to find out planting dates and other information for forage and other crops.