The following timeline for Martin-Till was originally published in the book, "Maverick to Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming" second edition.


1986: Howard Martin, Elkton, Ky., files a patent for the first ground-driven row cleaner for no-till planting, to push the residue aside so the soil would dry faster, be warmer and improve stands. He began manufacturing the row cleaners in 1991, which immediately extend the planting days available for no-tillers.


1991: Started manufacturing original pin adjust with 15-in. wheel in a 30 x 36-ft. farm shop.


1993: Purchased first CNC machine tools and plasma table for farm shop to produce spike bevel wheel. First spiked closing wheel used on planters.

Worked with No-Till Innovator Eugene Keeton (who stopped by with duct tape and steel cables) in developing his seed firmer. We taped the cables to seed tubes and ran the first seed firmer.


1995: First floating row cleaner (C125) produced; tested our prototype of parallel link row cleaner. Farm Journal reports a 12-bu. increase using floating vs. rigid pin or screw-adjust.

Started manufacturing the Kinze floating cleaner at the farm, allowing us to keep the same crew year around and providing much-needed revenue during off season.

Closing System

1996: Patent issued on 2-stage closing system with spike wheels and rear rubber finishing wheel.

1999 new facility

1999: Built new 24,000-sq.-ft. facility with help from Kentucky economic development office.

1999 New facility overhead

2001: Doubled plant size (48,000 sq. ft.) with 1,500-sq.-ft. office with help from Kentucky economic development office.


2005: Released compact 1360 floating row cleaner, allowing the use of no-till coulters on planters where it was not possible previously due to length.

Mike and Martin

2006: Martin’s Floating Row Cleaner receives “Reader’s Choice” recognition from No-Till Farmer subscribers for best planter attachment, and it’s also named No-Till’s Overall Best Product in the inaugural program. Martin would receive 8 total awards in the 11-year program.


2008: fertilizer opener, combined with floating row cleaner.


2015: Started working on parallel link super compact row cleaner (ACCR) with integrated air cylinder. Released ACCR floating parallel link row cleaner (patent pending 2017).

 wireless bidirectional air control system

2016: Started development of wireless bidirectional air control system(Smart Clean).

Released first 2 x 2 x 2 fertilizer opener (DUAL UMO), placing nutrients at seed depth.

2017: Howard Martin was named a No-Till Farmer Living Legend in 2017. Howard Martin started no-tilling to earn a decent living from poor-quality land and developed specialized no-till equipment, such as planter row cleaners, in his farm shop. Martin’s success led to the formation of Martin Industries, among today’s leaders in producing no-till planter and drill accessories.


2018: ISO 9001:2015 certification in design and manufacturing; started working with OEMs in new product development. Developed adjustable angle V-style closing update for Case IH 2000 series; developed cupped Razor closing disc for cover crops.


2019: Released planter-frame weight distribution system. Started testing crusher style closing wheel. (released Fall 2021)


former No-Till Farmer publisher Darrel Bruggink (l) with Steve (c) and Howard Martin (r).

2021: Steve Martin, Martin Industries, accepts the 2021 No-Till Innovator Award (Business & Service), adding to Howard Martin’s distinction from 1996.