A little more than two decades ago, an agronomist who was raised on a South Dakota farm opened an agricultural business in Kansas. His goal was to provide avenues for a new breed of farmer to learn about and purchase specialty farm equipment.


Last spring, the company’s founder, Matthew Hagny, died in an accident, but Exapta Solutions, the company he started, remains committed to supplying no-till farmers with ready-made machines and tools – some of which the company invents.


“We strive not to sell you some device, but to provide useful information to help you get the most from your seeding equipment – more acres, better emergence, higher yield and greater profit,” said Leah Lanie, chief of operations for Exapta. “We offer products where there is truly a need.”


This Salina-based company sells equipment nationwide, as well as to farmers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. In addition to specializing in upgrades and improvements for no-till seeding equipment, the company designs and manufactures some of their own products.


Many no-till farmers do not have the proper equipment available. They often try to improvise with machines, including drills, they used when they were tilling their crops. Exapta helps with improving seed placement, seed to soil contact and emergence.


“They (producers) can take out attachments and place them in their existing equipment,” Lanie said.


Invention


Kansas natives Ben and Keith Thompson invented the Thompson wheel, a tool that avoids soil packing when planting. This wheel is available at Exapta.


This father and son team have practiced no-till and cover crops in Osage since 1991. Crops produced on their farm include corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat and sunflowers, plus cover and forage crops.


The Thompson’s went on an agriculture trip with Hagny in 2007. Along with being a lawyer and agronomist, Hagny was also an inventor.


“We wanted to design something that would keep the seed in the seed trench,” Keith Thompson said. “Matt gave us a lot of ideas. He helped us with the patent.”


Thompson said Hagny was always thinking of ideas for farming.


“He was fun to be around,” Thompson said. “Without Matt’s help and guidance on this, I don’t know what would have happened.”


Thompson’s son, Ben, is waiting to hear back from the patent office on another invention he came up with. This one Ben and Hagny refined last summer, before Hagny’s untimely death.


“We’re always thinking of new ideas,” Keith Thompson said. “It’s hard to come up with something someone hasn’t already come up with.”


Sharing ideas


Norman Johns, who farms in Johnson, was looking for planting equipment to help him on his farm.


“I’m a minimum-till farmer,” Johns said. “I’m looking for ways to plant row crops in the cover crop soil without a hoe drill.”


Keith Thompson said it is always important to share information. He said Hagny thought so, as well.


“The more you share knowledge with people, the further both of you get,” Thompson said. “The ones that are willing to share information are the ones that grow.”


Scholarship


A Matt Hagny No-Till Scholarship is offered by the company for farmers wanting to learn more about no-till farming. Visit www.exapta.com/matt-hagny-scholarship for more information.