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Early No-Till Planter
If you think no-till planters are fairly new, take a look at this corn planter that probably dates back to the 1800's.
It consists simply of a block of concrete about 20 in. wide with protrusions in the sides that would dig a pair of grooves as the block was pulled through the field by an ox or horse. The operator sat on the block, dropping seed by hand into the protrusions as he went along. A notch in front of the wedge helped keep soil moving through the planter.
Owner Marvin Wilkerson, Dahigren, Ill., bought the stone planter from a retired John Deere dealer in Carmi, Ill. Wilkerson displayed the planter last winter at the Greater Peoria Farm Show in Peoria, Ill.
"It originally had a short wooden stub tongue cut from tree limbs and two wood foot rests on the side for the operator's feet. We've actually tried the planter out in the field and it did work," says Wilkerson.
When he first saw the block planter, he says it reminded him of a primitive ridge-till cultivator he remembered seeing during the droughts of the 1930's. Farmers would pull a wedge-shaped stone between corn rows to knock out weeds and to ridge dirt up against the rows.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marvin Wilkerson, Dahigren, Ill. (ph 618 736-2733).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3