Guest Post: Marrying Stewardship and Profitability, Hagie Mfg.

By Amber Kohlhaas, Communications Manager, Hagie Mfg.

In 2011, my husband and I relocated back to our north Iowa roots to get more involved and grow our family farms. At that time, corn was selling for $6.32 per bushel compared to last month’s average of $3.70 per bushel. It amazes me how much the farming landscape has changed in just a few short years.  What will farming look like in the next 25 or 50 years? 

One thing that remains constant is change. Decisions made today not only directly affect us, but will also impact others for generations to come. As an owner of a grain and cattle family farm operation, today’s farming economy is presenting unique challenges in how to become better stewards of the land while also staying viable with narrowing margins.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a silver bullet answer, as no two grower situations are alike. However, making smart decisions that generate positive impacts on sustainability and productivity are one solution to get more out of every acre. The good news is that there are progressive partners offering innovative solutions to marry stewardship and profitability.

One partner for stewardship solutions is Hagie Mfg., a 67-year-old manufacturer of innovative agricultural application solutions. Unique to the industry, Hagie Mfg. is the only family owned application equipment manufacturer and operates on a unique factory direct business model to stay closely connected to evolving customer needs. Alan Hagie, third generation owner, has a tremendous passion for agriculture and understands the needs of the industry, as he also faces the same challenges on his own corn and soybean operation in Wright County.

Alan is leading the company with the purpose of solving problems, similarly to how the company got its start when Founder Ray Hagie saw a need that eventually led to his invention of the world’s first self-propelled sprayer in 1947.

With today’s intensifying challenges in stewardship, Hagie Mfg. is making a difference by offering a range of innovative solutions that enhance their equipment versatility, while also doing the right things for the environment and boosting profitability.

For well over a decade, Hagie Mfg. has offered a high-clearance Nitrogen toolbar (NTB), originally intended as a rescue Nitrogen bar, which has evolved into a full season solution for performing timely Nitrogen applications. Personally, we have been utilizing a Hagie NTB on our farm in Kossuth Co. and are experiencing the benefits that can come with performing timely N applications for optimal crop uptake to boost yield and minimize loss. 

With narrowing application window timeframes, capability to perform split N applications on broad acres can present challenges during the application season. New for 2015, Hagie Mfg.’s new High Speed Toolbar (HsTB) offers a solution to efficiently cover more acres and perform precise Nitrogen applications in early growth stages for maximum input productivity. Also new for 2015, Hagie Mfg. also introduced the CCI, a new cover crop Interseeding solution, for below canopy broadcast seeding of cover crops to maximize soil health and protect inputs.

In addition to providing innovative equipment solutions, Hagie Mfg. has also united with like-minded partners united by a common vision in effort to do impactful work that positively influences agricultural stewardship.

As a partner with the Responsible Nutrient Management Foundation, Hagie Mfg. is working with agricultural companies to create an influential driver of the productivity, sustainability and profitability of the industry. In effort to enhance awareness, this year Hagie Mfg. teamed up with RNMF partner, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, for the creation of an educational 4R exhibit to be displayed at a new IQ Hub at their world headquarters in St. Johns, MI. The IQ Hub is a 9,500 agricultural education destination that chronicles the advancement of agriculture and bridges the farm to fork connection.

In August, Hagie Mfg. teamed up with Iowa Department of Agricultural and Land Stewardship to honor 88 Iowa growers named recipients of the 2014 Iowa Farm Environmental Leaders Award at the 2nd Annual Recognition Luncheon at the Iowa State Fair. This event is in effort to recognize the voluntary efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.

Other partners of Hagie Mfg. include Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA), Boone River Watershed Nutrient Management Initiative and Iowa Working Cover Crop Group. Through each partnership, Hagie Mfg. is committed to doing meaningful work in effort to provide innovative solutions to blend optimal environmental performance with profitability. 

As the leader in agricultural innovations for the past 67 years, Hagie Mfg. is committed to making a difference and solving problems as the industry evolves for the next 67 years.