Necessity is the mother of all invention, and the winners of the 2008 No-Till Innovator Awards had plenty of necessity to go around.
From compaction to watershed management, their solutions and inventions have impacted crop production on their farms, in their communities and in fields throughout the United States. Some are even taking what they’ve learned around the globe.
Syngenta Crop Protection and No-Till Farmer honored the four winners of the 2008 No-Till Innovator Awards at a ceremony held Jan. 16 at the 17th annual National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis.
A committee of leaders encompassing many different aspects of the no-till industry sorted through nominations to identify award winners in the categories of Business & Service, Crop Production, Organization and Research & Education.
These innovators — three of which call Illinois home — have each influenced and molded the execution of conservation tillage, helping producers extract maximum value from their crop acres with minimum inputs. Each winner was chosen based on their commitment to the advancement of no-till farming, regardless of the type of crop grown or the equipment or products used.
When a friend had a problem with lagging corn yields in the late 1980s, engineer Rich Follmer responded by designing the first ever strip-till tool.
The challenge was planting corn into a no-till seedbed year after year. Running coulters in front of the planter didn’t dry the soil enough, so Follmer decided to design a tool that would get…