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In this episode of the “No-Till Farmer Influencers & Innovators” podcast, brought to you by Calmer Corn Heads, No-Till Farmer editor Frank Lessiter talks with John Tye, who was instrumental in creating the Tye grain drill that supported narrow-row soybean seeding.

“It was the yield advantage with narrow rows that attracted farmers and then being able to double-crop soybeans behind wheat immediately without having to lose the time to do seedbed preparation …” — John Tye

In the 1960s, John Tye’s father, J.M. Tye, found himself dissatisfied with the cotton planters that were available on the market and decided he could do better. Those early planters put the Tye Company on the map. Several years later, now under the direction of John, the company took on the no-till grain drill, convinced by research showing that there were profits to be made in narrow-row soybeans. 

Join Frank as he talks with John Tye about his time running the Tye Company, sharing stories about how his company was instrumental in converting farmers to narrow-row double-cropped soybeans, the role Basagran played in the system, trying to work out licensing deals with John Deere, and 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 FarmingCheck it out here.







No-Till Farmer's podcast series is brought to you by Calmer Corn Heads.

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Calmer Corn Heads is home of the world’s first 12-and 15-inch corn heads and residue management upgrade kits. Their patented BT Chopper Stalk Rolls cut, chop and shear cornstalks into confetti-like residue for accelerated decomposition, and have been voted to the No-Till Product of the Year list 5 times by farmers across America. Visit them at


Intro Music: Adam Selzer - True North

Interlude Music: Alialujah Choir - Little Picture (Instrumental)