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Seed Opener Designs: Past & Present Choices/Trends on Modern Equipment, with Lessons from the Past

by Matt Hagny, consulting agronomist for no-till systems since ‘94.

Many of you are perplexed as to why we at Exapta endorse certain seed opener designs for no-till (NT) and not others. (And many of you wonder if I’m qualified to render judgment at all 🙂 but I’ll save that topic for another day. Suffice it to say that I’ve been compelled to spend hundreds of hours digging behind a gamut of opener designs & settings, and I’m highly analytical. Plus, the huge range of climate and soil textures across Kansas— going from native short-grass prairie to a tree-dominated landscape in a mere 300 miles with relatively poor, low-OM soils in an unforgiving climate being typical—has afforded me plenty of diversity of soil conditions to play with. I frequently get out in the field in other parts of the world too. 🙂 ) So, here goes:

In the beginning…well, okay, maybe not that far back. At the dawn of agriculture, people used sticks to make holes in the soil, drop seeds in, tap them with the stick again, then kick soil back into the hole. Or you would drag the stick (later, a hoe) to make a shallow furrow, then poke the seeds in, and cover. Hence, the hoe opener. Very old technology. But the seed firming and closing was done with care, gently, and was completely separate from the depth-gauging (visually, by a mark on the stick). Much, much later (in recent centuries), people figured out wheel axles that were durable enough to transport heavier implements around, so… continue reading here: Seed-Opener-Designs

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.