After leaving no-till farming in 1972, company founder Howard Martin decided to give it another try in the early 1980s. A combination of hard pan and thick residue caused the soil profile to remain moist throughout the corn planting season. This condition was leading to stands that were only 40-50% of what they should have been. A study done by Iowa State University on the connection between crop residue and soil temperature prompted Martin to pursue a sensible solution.
According to the study, a 2- to 5-degree F. change in soil temperature could affect plant growth as much as 30%. Martin knew that if the residue could be pushed aside, the soil would dry faster and warm up quicker, resulting in improved stands. In the winter of 1983, he went to work on what is now known as the Martin Row Cleaner. In the spring of 1984, he successfully tested his invention and began manufacturing the row cleaners in 1991.
Within a year, his units were operating in 15 U.S. states and Canada. Today, Martin Industries supplies more than 1,500 dealers in 38 U.S. states and 11 countries.
From the beginning, it has been Martin’s goal to increase the number of days available for planting, improve stands and increase the chances of faster, early growth in a wide range of soil conditions. Studies have shown a 20-25% improvement in stands resulting from Martin-Till row cleaners.