Keeping farmer’s machine, making it green

Hagie application tools get more Deere, but keep the layout and feel of the original machine designs


In a little more than a month, Canadian farmers will be able to order the latest in Hagie sprayers.

For those producers who have owned or followed the history of the Hagie, the 2022 model year will offer some substantial changes, but appear to be keeping the elements that have made the Hagie machines uniquely designed.

Born on Ray Hagie’s Clarion, Iowa, farm at the end of the Second World War, the first self-propelled sprayer was high clearance machine. The hybrid corn seed grower had built and began selling a self-propelled machine to carry workers through a hybrid seed crop while detasseling the tall plants.

The sprayer was based on that narrow, single, driven front-wheel design, able to navigate the towering crop; tank in behind the driver, booms were at the back.

A decade later he had moved the booms up front for visibility, tank under and behind the driver and motor was up front and it was two-wheel drive, from the rear.

A liquid nitrogen fertilizer applicator option with long drop tubes followed. Before the end of that decade, the motor was at the back, the booms up front and the tank was behind the driver, mostly, because there was one on each side.

In the early 1970s the machines’ twin tanks grew to reach 850 gallons. By the 1990s 90-foot booms stretched out ahead of the operator and 1,000 gallons of product was, beside, behind and below.

Top-mounted single tanks came along in the early 2000s along with a 40-foot nitrogen-application toolbar. Four-wheel drive and a record-setting 1,600 gallon tank came along, while the motor remained at the back.

John Deere became a partner in the company in 2016 and the following year the combing introduced 120-foot booms and a Tier 4 compatible 6.8 litre Deere engine.

The new cabs on the STS Hagie strayers are inspired by the Deere's new combine cabs. The design offers a very wide view of the up-front booms. | John Deere photo

Last year, Deere purchased the remainder of the company and boosted the booms on the STS model to an optional 132 foot width. Deere’s guidance systems were added to the Hagie brands.

For many years, farmers would buy the Hagie machines directly from the company, with a relatively limited number of dealers. The move to Deere aided in the marketing and distribution.

The 2022 units are all new, says Joel Basinger of John Deere, but the motor is still at the back, driver in the front with boom and the tank in the middle, making it unique in the Deere lineup of sprayers. And they are still built in Clarion, Iowa.

The all-wheel driving and steering is powered by Deere’s Powertech nine-litre engine, depending on the model, rated from 300 to 400 horsepower, pulling the machines at up to 25 mph in the field and 35 in transport.

The STS12 has the 300 h.p. version and 1,200 gallons of capacity. The model 16, 1,600 gallon, is rated for 400 and, also at 400, the model 20, 2,000 gallon, gets a little added boost with a second turbo charger.

The Deere Command Drive is now part of the Hagies, sensing wheel slip and then shifting power to alternate wheels to maintain traction. The frame clearance is up to 76 inches and the suspension is mounted inside the wheel space, for an independent control of both ride and traction.

Norac handles keeping the 90, 100, 120 and 132 foot booms balanced over the crop. Deere’s rapid loading fills the machines at up to 300 gallons per minute and producers can order Deere’s pulse width modulation, individual nozzle control system, Exact Apply, for the machines.

Hagie sprayers have always had high clearances, born on the Iowa plains, they were first designed for corn crops. As Prairies producers have adopted corn and a need to spray tall wheat and dense canola crops for mid-season fungal infections, height has become more important for producers. | John Deere photo

The new cabs are based on Deere’s newest combine cabs.

“They are pretty roomy and very comfortable. But that is what farmers are needing, because the acres keep getting bigger, with more passes up in Western Canada today than in the past, but not the (time) to get them done,” said Basinger.

Other Deere tools in the three new models are based around the ability to flow data to and from the machines to Deere’s Operations Centre computer server and software connection to the farm office or mobile platforms. That piece of standard equipment, JDLink, lets the farm flow application maps to the units and monitor the work in real time, making jobs like tendering and work planning easier and ensuring applications are happing as planned.

“These (model year 2022) machines are Hagie. But they have a lot of (Deere’s) best stuff in them,” said Basinger.

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