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“The test of a no-till drill was how well it penetrated. People would go out on a really hard field … and see if your drill would really penetrate. But it didn't take too long to figure out that if it was so hard you couldn't penetrate, you shouldn't be out there anyway because your soil condition was so poor you weren't going to get a stand really…” — Roy Applequist, founder, Great Plains Mfg.

In 1976, Roy Applequist founded Great Plains Mfg. which went on to become one of the major suppliers of no-till farming equipment. A few years later, the company saw the need for equipment designed specifically for the no-till industry and built its first no-till drill prototypes in 1981.

For this episode of the No-Till Farmer Influencers & Innovators podcast, No-Till Farmer editor Frank Lessiter reminisces with Roy about how he got involved with building no-till equipment. Tune in as they discuss how Roy’s background making bearings led to the first Great Plains folding grain drill, turning a product flaw into a customer relations success, why Great Plains started putting depth wheels on individual row units, diversifying with twin-row and vertical tillage equipment, spreading the word about no-till around the world and much more.

P.S. There’s lots more great no-till stories and history in Frank Lessiter’s new book, From Maverick to Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming. Check it out here. {}

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No-Till Farmer podcast series is brought to you by Mosaic Susterra.

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