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NAME: Roy Applequist, President and Founder Business: Great Plains Mfg., inc.
LOCATION: Salina, KS
YEARS BUILDING NO-TILL EQUIPMENT: 30
No-till has played a big part in the growth of our company. We’ve been in the no-till business almost since it started, adapting and manufacturing for this growing and challenging segment.
My father started Great Plains Mfg., Inc. in 1976 and we built our first no-till prototypes in 1981. No-till has been a significant part of our success and we’re glad we got into the industry when we did.
For our part, we have really helped develop the no-till market in a time when the major equipment manufacturers didn’t want to see it survive.
With fewer trips over the field and fewer hours in the tractor, no-till didn’t seem conducive to manufacturers’ profits. Now they’re playing catch-up.
There are a lot of challenges in no-till, and it’s been an advantage to grow up with the process. Over the years, we’ve worked with growers, agronomists and seed companies to identify what works, what doesn’t and what the needs of no-tillers will be as management strategies and other production factors change.
While my grandparents were farmers, my father was always in the manufacturing business. He was a tool-and-die maker at Cessna during World War II. In 1946, he came home and started a company that made primary components and ball bearings for the ag industry.
Eventually, the competition got really tough with overseas component manufacturers, so…