Some agriculture innovations are born of lab coats, Bunsen burners and years of greenhouse and field testing. Others happen during a simple "ah ha" moment over a cup of coffee. The latter is exactly what happened with South Dakota farmer Dave Terveen and machine shop owner Kevin Berg.
"Some local farmers came to us with an idea for a spiked closing wheel," Berg says. "They were looking at putting closing wheels on their planter and couldn’t really decide on one of them. They really didn’t like what was available, so we sat down and started kicking around different ideas."
Those conversations gave birth to Copperhead Ag and its premier product, a spiked closing wheel called the Furrow Cruiser. Berg, who has an engineering background and experience with modeling software, says the development process moved quickly.
"What would probably take large companies several years to do, we did in several weeks," Berg says. "We probably had eight different configurations before we got the product we’re selling today."
Berg describes the Furrow Cruiser as a hybrid between a rubber tile and more aggressive spiked closing wheels on the market. The main advantage, he says, is that the wheel performs well across a wide range of soil types and tillage scenarios.
The next "ah ha" moment for Copperhead Ag? Berg says it’s just a cup of coffee away.
"You never know what’s going to walk in the door next," he says. "We’re always looking for opportunities."