Marion Calmer is a farmer from western Illinois, is the entrepreneur of Calmer's Ag Research, and CEO of Calmer Corn Heads, Inc. He started his farming
operation of 80 acres of corn and 10 gilts in 1975. In 1978, he graduated from Black Hawk East College with an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences.
During his farming career, he has grown corn, soybeans, seed corn, soybean seed, and has operated a swine operation. Marion has also spent several
hours modifying and inventing farm machinery. During his career, he has gone from conventional tillage to no-till, adopted the use of bio technology, and
has gone from growing corn and soybeans in 40-inch rows to growing both crops in 15-inch rows. He also strives to reduce input costs. At one point in time,
his corn herbicide costs were as high as $37 per acre and today have been reduced to near $6 per acre. Soybean seed costs have been as high as $40
per acre and today are $20 per acre. During this time, Marion has also reduced the number of field passes that it takes to grow a crop from 9 to 3.
In 1991, Marion was selected as one of four finalists for the Illinois Soybean Association's Young Leader Program.
Marion has been a DuPont No-till Neighbor and a featured speaker at DuPont and Monsanto Residue Management
Conference and the National No-Till Conference from 1994 - present. Marion is a corporate member of the Conservation
Technology Information Center (CTIC).
In 1999, he was selected as Black Hawk College's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.
Marion has been featured in several popular farm magazines, such as Successful Farming, Farm Journal, Farm Industry
News, Prairie Farmer, Wallace, Farm Equipment, and many others.
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Marion Calmer with daughter Aliza opening up the new plant
Marion Calmer and daughter Aliza
opened Calmer Corn Head's new
production plant north of Alpha, Illinois for
business in April 2005
CEO - CALMER Corn Heads, Inc.
President - CALMER Ag Research
Owner/Operator - CALMER Farms
Phone : (309) 629-9000
Fax : (309) 629-9001
Email :
Calmer Corn Heads
About Marion Calmer
Better Harvesting Through Innovation
Better Harvesting Through Innovation
Marion Calmer, High School Junior - 1974
Marion Calmer, 15 inch row corn - 2013
2014 Farm Industry News FinOvation Award
Copyright © Calmer Corn Heads. All Rights Reserved.
Calmer Corn Heads, Inc.                                                      email;
Mailing Address;                                 Physical Address;
P.O. Box 9                                              3056 N. 700th Ave                 
Alpha, Illinois  61413                           Lynn Center, IL  61262
 In 1994 and 1995, he received State and National Honor Awards from the Soil and Water Conservation Society
(SWCS). Nominated for the JC Young Farmer Award in 1995 and in 1996, won the No-till Innovator Award for the
category - Public Image of Agriculture.  In 1998, he was selected as one of the 25 most influential people in American
Improving corn harvesting equipment runs in the Calmer
family. Marion's grandfather Ansker and great uncle
Barney Calmer were some of the first farmers to put a
corn sheller on a solid rubber tired Model T truck. They
used this for several years as they went from farm to farm
shelling corncribs
Marion Calmer On The Cover Of Many Popular Publications
Marion filed for his first patent in 1995, and the field test
resulted in the first narrow row single chain corn head.
These chains need a protective covering, so he invented
the low profile, short deck and snout.  The new narrow row
corn head became more and more popular, and needed
to be fit to more than one style of combine, so he
invented the universal feeder house enabling the Calmer
corn head to fit all combines.  After a few years of running
the narrow row corn head, it became apparent that a new
stalk chop was necessary.  Marion began working on a
new stalk roll that would crush and crimp at the corn head
without extra moving parts.  10 knives that crushed the
stalk, was the first improved roll, The Calmer BT
Crusher®.   This was available for all Calmer Corn Heads
being built, and he also made it to fit a few other company
corn heads.  Of course, this was not enough; Marion
wanted a stalk roll that would be better than a chopping
corn head so he invented the Calmer BT Chopper®.  
This stalk roll was, is, and will be the best stalk roll
available for sizing corn stalk into small “confetti like”
pieces that will decompose more quickly.  The
decomposition allows the stalk to be used more quickly
by the next season’s crop.  The stalk is able to be planted
into more easily, it is evenly distributed which makes
fertilizer and temperature more uniform.
- Winner of the 2014 Fin-ovation, Farm Industry News Reader award for the top attraction at the 2013 Farm
Progress Show
-Member of the 2014 Farm Bill Advisory Board serving under Congress Woman Cheri Bustos.
-Voted as one of the 40 No-Till legends.
-No-Till Farmer Residue Management Product of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011)
-Outstanding presentation awards at the National No-Till Conference.
-State and National soil conservation awards
-Agricultures 25 most influential people
-DuPont Young Leader Award
-JC Young Farmer Award
-Outstanding Agri-Business Club Alumni award.
-Selected “Public Image of Agriculture” award out of 200,000 Farmers in US.

-Paul Harvey’s closing statement from his Noon broadcast about Marion Calmer’s revolutionary invention,
December of 1995.  “In my humble opinion, Marion Calmer’s technology has changed the way corn will
be     grown worldwide for the rest of time, good day.”
Marion Calmer Personal Awards/Accomplishments
Marion Calmer with Herman Warsaw, the world
record holder (1985) of non-irrigated corn yield
at 370 bushels per acre.  While on a field tour
at Herman Warsaw's farm, Marion became
intrigued with the concept of doing on-farm
narrow row corn research at his own farm.
Marion Calmer and Donavin Calmer in front of a 2013
Calmer 32 row 15 inch corn head.  The Woodhull, IL
reservoir is in the background the same as his ancestors
picture to the right.