What information can you give me on no-till vegetable transplanters?

J.T.WashingtonAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on sourcing or building a no-till vegetable transplanter.The following resources reflect current research and practice with no-till vegetable production. Steve Groff and Dr. Ron Morse, both mentioned on Rodale’s No-till website, have developed no-till translanters. I am sure with a few phone calls you could obtain plans or advice on converting a no-till planter or transplanter to a no-till transplanter.Steve Groff, Lancaster County, Pennsylvaniasteve@cedarmeadowfarm.com717-284-5152Steve has customized an RJ Equipment carousel transplanter for no-till transplanting of tomatoes into killed cover crops. This transplanter has a spring-loaded 20-inch, turbo coulter, followed by a double disk opener and a short shoe to place the transplant in. Angled press wheels tuck the soil firmly around the plant. The package leaves virtually no soil showing after the crop is planted, giving good full coverage mulch for the whole season. Pictures of the transplanter can be found at the Cedar Meadow Farm website at:http://www.cedarmeadowfarm.com/OurEquipment/NoTillVegPlanter.htmlRJ Equipment75 Industrial Ave.PO Box 1180Blenheim Ont. N0P 10519-676-4110According to Steve Groff’s website, RJ Equipment is custom-making no-till transplanters.Dr. Ron MorseProfessor of HorticultureVirginia Tech.Blacksburg, VA 24061540-231-6724;morser@vt.eduDr. Morse is conducting research on no-till cover crop mulch systems for organic vegetable production. He has modified a Holland transplanter to perform no-till plantings.Transplanter and Stalk-Chopper Modifications: Customized tools handle heavy cover crop residue. Sustainable Farming Connection.Darren ShenkAgricultural Resource ConservationistSoutheastern Pennsylvania Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D)Willowdale Town Center688 Unionville Road Suite 200Kennett Square, PA 19348610-925-4920 x120dshenk@chesco.orgThe RS&D has developed a horse drawn no-till transplanter that will be available for Spring 2008 use at no charge. The funds for it were made available by the SoutheasternPennsylvania Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D). Tobacco, pumpkins, broccoli, and cauliflower have been planted successfully without tilling.