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The first ones I built had sharp points on them. And I remember walking around the planter one day and I was getting poked. I went back to the shop and I cut the points off, and started changing the shape. And low and behold, they started working better…— Keith Thompson, no-tiller and inventor of the Thompson closing wheel, Osage City, Kan.

Keith Thompson, inventor of the Thompson closing wheel, no-tills about 3,000 acres of corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, rye, triticale, sunflowers, sesame and pasture in Osage City, Kansas. An innovator at heart, Thompson has adapted and improved on his equipment time and time again ever since he started experimenting with no-till in the 1970s.

In this episode of the No-Till Farmer Influencers & Innovators podcast, editor Frank Lessiter talks with Thompson about how his understanding of no-till evolved through experiments with ridge-till, skip-till and strip-till before he converted 100% to no-till in 1991. Thompson talks about how he developed the Thompson closing wheel, his experience using the Intellicoat polymer seed coating for double-dropped soybeans, integrating perennial pasture in his crop rotation, 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.







No-Till Influencers & Innovators podcast series is brought to you by Montag Manufacturing.

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