Ten acres was all it took to affirm Doug Sorensen’s thoughts about the value of the Furrow Brow, his homemade invention to keep mud from building up on planter depth gauge wheels.

After using the (then yet-to-be-named) Furrow Brows since 2007, Sorensen switched to a different planter in 2015 that didn’t have the attachments.

"I went one year without them and decided I’ve got to have something (to keep gauge wheels clean)," he said.

That’s because — with about 10 acres left to plant that year —light rain began to fall, Sorensen recalled. He pressed on, as farmers are apt to do. It kept raining, and mud started building up on the planter.

"You think you can keep going," the Audubon County Farm Bureau member said. "By ...