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Don’t be afraid to wear your seeding equipment out. 

The more you can use your seeding equipment the faster it wears out. But that’s not a bad thing! You only get one chance to get your seeding done right, and the more you need to replace and inspect your planting equipment, the better condition it will be before you head to the field. A common complaint when no-tilling more acres is spending more money replacing opener blades and wear parts. The glass is still half full though, as going to the field with new blades is ideal for cutting a furrow and placing seeds. I have been around more planters in tilled fields that are not up to spec and could improve their planting and emergence, but the planter doesn’t get rebuilt as much since there is also tillage equipment to maintain. A tilled field and a timely rain after planting can cover a lot of sins that no-tillers can’t get away with. The same comments are heard with what to plant cover crops with. Most farms have a nice planter sitting in the shed come fall that still has life left on the blades to cover acres with cover crops. Ideally you start with brand new blades each spring before planting the cash crop. The more the planter needs to be rebuilt, the more likely other parts are to be inspected like meters, gauge tires, seed firmers, frame, etc.  

Air seeders are the same concept. It is not uncommon for farms to apply dry fertilizer with their air seeder to prepare for corn planting—nitrogen especially. This allows low disturbance subsurface application to reduce N loss.  A larger meter roll size would be needed depending on rate, but a complete mix of N-P-K (400+ lbs) can be applied. The conveyor and tank capacity are already there, while providing more even coverage instead of broadcasting. If your average rainfall is less than 20” however, I would advise that trying to run over as little stubble as possible is critical to improving yields. This would be a better case for applying fertilizer with the planter to reduce passes over the field. Also, don’t be afraid of wider row spacing (10” wheat or 30” milo) to run down less residue. Avoid pushing stubble into contact with soil until closer to crop canopy to preserve moisture.   

Spreading costs over more acres of use increases efficiency of equipment dollars.  When looking at mostly fixed costs of farming (seed, fertilizer, etc.) one of the costs most under your control is what your equipment costs to use each year. Purchasing parts that last also helps the situation. The faster it wears out, the more spending extra dollars on high-wear parts makes sense for a return on that investment. This has been the focus of Exapta’s offering of wear parts. Examples would be: 

In conclusion, seeding is critical, and you have one shot at getting it done right! Make the best use of equipment dollars with longer-lasting parts. Exapta is here to help. 

Chris Horton

Chris Horton brings 25 years of management with him. He grew up on his grandparents farm in Reno County Kansas where they mainly grew wheat and cattle feed. He worked on feed lots as a pen rider and cow-calf operations before moving to Southern California where Chris started a new career in the transportation and transport logistics, eventually managing the western region for a large commercial vehicle leasing company. Chris moved home to Kansas, to manage a local Farmers Coop and then eventually the service dept for a tractor dealership. The opportunity to join the Exapta team came up, and he knew he wanted to be a part of this team.

Bob Pagel

Sales & Service Representative

Prior to joining Exapta, Bob Pagel was an Agricultural Territory Sales Manager for Ritchie Brothers, serving parts of MN, WI and IA. He continues to support his family farm in SE Minnesota.

Jon Zeller

Current Product Engineer

Jonathan Zeller joined Exapta excited to return to working with no-till planting equipment. He supported research of no-till planting and other ag related projects for 7 years with Kansas State University’s Agricultural Engineering Department after getting his engineering degree. He later worked 3 years for Landoll Company, LLC. where he gained experience in a design engineering role. Jonathan grew up on a small family farm in NE Kansas working with row crops, hay and cattle. Jonathan enjoys solving engineering problems and improving or creating products to be robust and easy to install and service.