“When we designed our strip bar, we didn’t use a swivel coulter. It was a rigid coulter from the get-go. It can flex up and down, but it didn’t swivel. It’s like having a whole bunch of rudders and it keeps the bar pretty straight. So it's easy to run on top of the old bean row…”— Rich Follmer, strip-tiller, Bloomington-Normal, Ill.
While growers were moving toward no-tilled soybeans in a big way during the 1980s and ‘90s, no-tilled corn acres remained somewhat flat. Many farmers feared they would have problems trying to no-till into cold, wet ground covered with residue.
As a result, strip-till soon emerged as a compromise. Rich Follmer became an early innovator in the strip-till space after building a homemade 12-row strip-till bar in the late ‘80s for a friend. As the head of Progressive Farm Products, based in Hudson, Illinois at the time, Follmer perfected the units and put them into production a few years later.
For this podcast, Frank Lessiter talks with Follmer, who became known as the ‘grandfather ‘ of strip-till, about that early strip-till toolbar, how he started building berms in the fall, his thoughts on using cover crops in a strip-till operation, the future of the strip industry 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.
Montag Manufacturing is your fertilizing equipment specialist. Offering dry, liquid and complete fertilizer systems as well as auto-steer carts, Montag’s precision fertilizer-placement solutions will reduce your rate, increase your yield and assist your stewardship goals. Visit them at montagmfg.com.