Frustrated by the expense and downtime brought on by punctured tires, Jay Allen designed something to bring the damage to an end.
He calls it a stalk stomper: It manages the stubble left by newer corn heads and hybrids that don’t break down readily on his no-till fields by leaning it in the direction of travel.
The length of steel well casing (about 4 inches wider than the tractor’s front tires) suspended by chains hangs 1 to 2 inches off the ground. For road travel, shorter grab hooks hold the pipe, which weighs about 30 pounds.
The frame extends 20 inches in front of the tractor. “You just have to remember not to hit a fence post!” he says.
Allen says the chains allow flexibility when he goes through waterways or in reverse on his highly erodible land.
“It cost me about $100 to put together, and we are beginning our fifth season of using it,” says Allen.
Farm: The Allens grow corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa in Earlville, Illinois.
Family: Wife Linda was a third-grade teacher for 33 years. Son Jared is the sixth generation on the Illinois Sesquicentennial Family Farm (purchased in 1848).
Agronomists: The father-and-son team use erosion prevention techniques and are looking into foliar feeding of corn and soybeans.
Hobbies: Besides hunting, fishing, and bowling, Allen is on his church council and works as a trustee of the town’s community building.
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