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Drill Design Comparisons in No-till

Both fields were planted the same day, with the same seed lot, at the same seeding rate. Both fields had had the same cropping history for five years, and the prior year’s wheat crop and stubble were very similar.

Mediocre No-till Seeding

Wheat planted with a so-called no-till drill (actually just the old packer-wheel design with heavier down-pressure springs, but several companies sell these as ‘no-till’ drills). Note the substantial soil disturbance and stubble being buried. Stand was 870,000 plants/a.

This is just one example of dozens that Matt Hagny has observed over the years — the wannabe no-till drills only obtain about half or 2/3 the stands that they should in long-term no-till.  These press drills need loose soil to function (they perform better if they have aggressive coulters out in front, but then you’re planting all the weed seeds and burying all your mulch; you’d be money ahead to buy a real no-till drill).

Superb No-till Seeding

This was taken just a couple hundred feet from the photos to the left. However, this field was planted with a JD 1560, outfitted with 90-series boots, SDX firming wheels, and spoked closing wheels. Extremely low soil disturbance, and all the stubble is retained. Stand was 1,240,000 plants/a.

Concord shank – L; JD 1850 – R (same seed lot, same rate, same day; the farmer was well-versed in setting shank openers and had been running his Concord for several years, whereas the 1850 was new and unfamiliar to him). North-central KS into sunflower stubble. Yield was ~ 10% less with the Concord.

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.