Self-propelled sprayers became the primary emphasis for Hagie Manufacturing early in its history. Today, the company’s lineup includes the high-clearance STS 16, which has booms that span up to 120' and can be outfitted for nitrogen application.
Concentrating on the sprayer business, Hagie Manufacturing has blazed trails in application
Located in Clarion, Iowa, Hagie Manufacturing Company is well-known for its long-legged sprayers, the tallest with 8.5' of clearance. But it was a detasselling machine that drew the Hagie family into the manufacturing business.
In the early 1940s, Ray Hagie was running Hagie Hybrids, a seed corn company. To make the process of detasselling corn more manageable, he made a self-propelled platform for his workers to stand on. That machine evolved into a mechanical detasseller.
"With the strong corn breeding business, we went from selling no detassellers to hundreds," says John Hagie, Ray’s son and chairman of the board. "From there, our customers started asking for a spraying machine to apply 2,4-D and DDT. We can say we manufactured the first commercially built high-clearance sprayer."
That sprayer was a three-wheeled machine built in 1947.
As the seed industry consolidated, the Hagie family sold its seed corn business to focus on machinery. Today, the company’s facilities, which include 210,000 sq. ft. for engineering and product support and 175,000 sq. ft. for manufacturing, span 25 acres on two adjacent campuses. The original facility was built in 1955.
"We know how to build sprayers," John says. "Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of different things: a miniature garbage truck, a feed mixer body, snowplow equip- ment and gas leak detection equipment. But we can only be successful at what we’re passionate about, and that’s crop production," he adds.
John took over as chairman at the end of 2010 and his son, Alan, became president. Alan also runs the family’s 1,600-acre corn and soybean farm, and John oversees Cyclone Trace Cattle Company, a registered Shorthorn herd.
"We understand our customers’ expectations because we are in the same business," Alan says. "These machines have to run when they’re expected to work. Today, all of our machines are still tested on our farm first before an extensive testing program across our market."
Sales network. Hagie Manufacturing focuses on direct sales. The company has field offices in Shelbyville, Ind.; Roanoke, Ill.; and Cairo, Neb. Each facility stocks parts and has the ability to refurbish used machines.
"We have maintained the direct sales model because we don’t want to be removed from the customer’s experience," Alan says. "We do have dealers in areas that we feel the company couldn’t serve in any other way."
The company has a field sales staff of 25 and 29 service technicians. "The service staff purposefully outnumbers the sales team. The goal is for a machine to never have to leave a farm for service," Alan says.
The company manages all of its own used inventory. On the production end, every machine is built to order, which means each machine has a name associated with it as it goes down the line.
"The trend of farmer-owned self-propelled sprayers has increased every year with on-farm net income, and today that segment makes up half of our business," John says.
Company compass. As Alan walks in his customers’ shoes, he also leads the company’s employees to embrace the nine Hagie family values.
- February 2012