Gilmore City man’s invention becomes reality

Finish Line Sweep is showing results out in the field

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Al Hermerson shows his invention, the Finish Line Sweep. Developed two years ago, Hermerson said it is in the research and development stage but showing results out in the field by helping to fracture the horizontal density layer and helping to create a vertical relief pattern in the soil.

GILMORE CITY — An idea that popped into a Gilmore City farmer’s head while driving by an airport in California has turned into a reality.

Through that vision, the Finish Line Sweep was designed.

“That’s the strangest part of the whole story,” said Al Hemerson. “I noticed the traditional chain-woven fence with the barbed wire on top that also had a plastic weaving through it and all that was sticking above that fence was a tail of jet and I made the comment to my wife, ‘What if a jet flew upside down?'”

“But that profile of that fence and that tail end of the jet sticking above there. I correlated that with the soil profile and the density layer and the Finish Line Sweep was born right there.”

Hemerson said he has taken the concept of the traditional field cultivator sweep and added an agronomically-engineered blade underneath the sweep, set at a specific angle, which essentially relieves the horizontal density layer in the soil.

-Submitted photo
The Finish Line Sweep is manufactured through Wiese Industries in Perry and is available at several dealerships throughout central Iowa.

“Corn roots typically like to grow at a 30 degree angle and all of the leading agronomists talk about the horizontal density layer created by the field cultivator sweep,” he said, “so by incorporating this blade, we have fractured that horizontal density layer while introducing this vertical relief pattern throughout the soil.”

Hemerson said the blade underneath the sweep acts like a rudder, stabilizing the sweep in the soil.

“It keeps the sweep from wandering in the soil,” he said. “The sweeps last longer. It’s crazy what it is doing.”

He added if Finish Line Sweeps were placed throughout the entire field cultivator, a vertical relief pattern would be made. This would shatter that horizontal density layer every 8 and three quarters inches across the entire width of the field.

“No matter how big the field would be, every 8 and three quarters inches you are going to introduce a vertical relief pattern for the corn roots,” he said.

The Finish Line Sweep is designed for use with a traditional field cultivator, not to be confused with vertical tillage machines.

“Vertical tillage is a separate entity on its own,” he said. “This is using the traditional field cultivator sweep while incorporation of the vertical relief pattern 2 and three quarter inches beneath that sweep.”

In the beginning

Soon after coming up with the idea, Hemerson started promoting the Finish Line Sweep.

He went to Brian Brace, of Brian’s Welding, in Algona, with the idea, and the pair successfully built the Finish Line Sweep.

Hemerson had 30 of them made and put them on various locations on his John Deere 725 soil finisher to test out his invention.

“Immediately when I dug down, I noticed that horizontal density layer was being fractured and I noticed the vertical relief pattern in the soil, and I told my wife, ‘There’s some validity to this thing.'”

That’s when they visited their patent attorney in Des Moines, filed for their patent application and on their way home, stopped at Wiese Industries.

“They jumped on the idea and we have been developing them ever since,” he said.


Videos of the Finish Line Sweep in action can be seen on YouTube.

“You can see still pictures and actually see it in motion working the soil,” he said.

Hemerson claims leading agronomists talk about that horizontal density layer and that farmers can’t seem to get away from that with a traditional cultivator sweep.

“That’s because, as the sweep travels through the soil, it compresses that soil underneath it and forms that density layer,” he said. “The Finish Line Sweep will fracture that density layer and introduce that vertical relief pattern for those corn roots.”

Hemerson said they have proof of concept and know the concept works and that they are still in the research and development stages.

They are working with Beck’s Hybrids, Hefty Seed Company and Precision Planting to get more Finish Line Sweeps out into the field.

According to Hemerson, one farmer has seen great results.

“I did have some on another gentlemen’s field cultivator and he didn’t notice the wheel tracks and the streaking in the field that he had previously noticed,” he said.


Hemerson said the Finish Line Sweep is being sold dealer direct by Wiese Industries, of Perry.

The sweeps, he said, are sold at some John Deere and Case IH dealerships as well as other implement dealers including Anderson Equipment, of Fort Dodge, and Boone Valley Implement, of Renwick.

Dealers can be found by calling Hemerson at (515) 368-0050 or Wiese Industries at (800) 568-4391.

Hemerson said the Finish Line Sweep is available in Wiese Industries’ Viper 9-inch and 7-inch bolt on sweeps. If popularity for the Finish Line Sweep grows, he said a knock on sweep design may become available.

“That’s been a challenge because every company — Case IH, John Deere and various companies — all incorporate different knock on designs so the sweeps aren’t interchangeable,” he said. “So right now Wiese Industries is in the R and D (research and development) portion of the program. We have the proof of concept is there. In fact, we have our conveyance for allowance on a United States patent on the design, so they are just chasing this to see where this will lead.”

“If there’s enough demand for it, they will build a knock on sweep.”


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