MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota farmer-turned-inventor thinks he has a solution for cutting down on soil erosion.

Milt Wubben of Clara City has been farming most of his life.

“For me it’s probably the greatest occupation you can have because of the independence,” Milt said.

Over the years, he became concerned about soil erosion on farm fields. So, he invented a piece of equipment that he says is good for both the environment and for crops.

He and his son, Travis, farm about a thousand acres in western Minnesota — where the open prairies offer little wind resistance.

“Wind erosion can be a major problem with rolling residue and rolling dirt,” Milt said.

Milt came up with a “rolling concept” — literally. It’s called the Culti-Roller and it’s a cultivator retrofitted with drums instead of shanks.

Unlike a land roller that farmers use in their fields, this can roll between rows and can be used when soybeans are a foot high.

The invention helps push down root balls and rocks. The method also helps seal in moisture during the warm, summer months when conditions are dry.

“The row stays open so any rain that does fall will fall on the row,” Milt said.

The Wubben family has been using the invention for four years and says the flatter soil has led to far less erosion and easier fall harvests. Others are noticing, too.

Milt’s daughter told him to enter into a $25,000 Start-It contest for new inventions.

“She thought we should enter it and low and behold we ended up winning the thing,” Travis said.

That money will go towards marketing the Culti-Roller.

A concept Milt hopes farmers can roll with.

“It’s all coming together and it feels good,” Milt said.

Milt’s Culti-Roller beat out 20 other entrants from across the Midwest.

John Lauritsen

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