No-Till and Direct Seed Program

Our Direct Seed Loan Program makes it easy for you to switch to direct seed and no-tillage operations as we offer low-interest loans to producers for major agricultural equipment purchases that:

  • Aid in the direct placement of seed and/or fertilizers in one or two passes
  • Aid in the removal or management of residue

To be eligible you must farm within the boundaries of one of the following conservation districts in eastern Washington: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, E. Klickitat, Foster Creek, Franklin, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pine Creek, Palouse, Palouse-Rock Lake, Pomeroy, S. Douglas, Snohomish (new!) Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman. There are also participating districts in Idaho which include: Benewah, Idaho County, Kootenai-Shoshone and Latah.

Conservation Benefits

  • Improves soil tilth: a no-till system increases aggregation making it easier for plants to establish roots with minimized compaction.
  • Reduces soil erosion: crop residues on the soil surface reduce the erosion caused by water and wind. Depending on the amount of residue present, soil erosion can be reduced by up to 90% compared to an unprotected, intensively tilled field.
  • Improves water quality: crop residue helps hold soil along with associated nutrients (particularly phosphorous) and pesticides on the field to reduce runoff into surface water.
  • Improves air quality: crop residue left on the surface improves air quality through reduced wind erosion. Air quality is also improved due to fewer emissions from equipment making fewer trips across the field.
  • Moisture Savings: direct seeding buildings a protective mulch on the soil surface which reduces the impact of raindrops, buffers the soil from temperature extremes, and reduces soil moisture evaporation. More moisture gets into the soil and more moisture stays in the soil where crops can utilize it for increased productivity.

Economic Benefits

An independent financial analysis was conducted on our Direct Seed Mentoring Program by the University of Idaho. The analysis showed that direct seeding, versus conventional tillage (on a spring grain crop):

  • Reduced labor costs by 50%
  • Saved 42% on fuel & lubrication costs
  • Reduced repairs (parts & labor) by 20%
  • Increased capital recover by 20%
  • Had an overall savings of approximately $13.50 per acre.

By using direct seeding there are fewer passes over the field, which results in less fuel needed, less labor required and less wear and tear placed on the machinery. It truly is the way to work smarter, not harder!

Loan Criteria

  • Applicant must farm in one of the designated counties or within the boundaries of one of the conservation districts participating in the program.
  • Loan-to-value ratio shall not exceed 75% based upon cost or appraised value of collateral.
  • Applicant must verify down payment of 25% on the implement before loan money is distributed.
  • Contracts range in length from five to 10 years. The first payment is due one year from the date the funds are dispersed.
  • Applicant shall furnish a letter from their primary lender approving additional debt incurred by applicant and a copy of the invoice from the seller of the equipment showing make, model, serial number, purchase price and any trade-in allowance.
  • Spokane Conservation District shall have first position as lien holder on UCC file for the implement.
  • Applicant must provide proof of full coverage insurance with the Spokane Conservation District listed as the loss payee on financed equipment.
  • Operators receiving loans shall assist the District in assessing impact of implement on water quality (erosion rates) for duration of loan.

Eligible Equipment

Implements that aid in the direct placement of seed and/or fertilizer in one or two passes:

  • No-tillage and direct seed drills
  • Fertilizer placement implements
  • Sprayers
  • Tractors

Implements that aid in the removal or management of residue:

  • Heavy harrows
  • Mowers/shredders
  • Swathers
  • Balers and bale handling equipment
  • Combines

If you have any questions about whether a piece of equipment is eligible to participate in the Direct Seed Loan program, contact Ty Meyer.