Krause Corporation is one of the premier manufacturers and marketers of soil management and grain drill equipment in the world. As Pat Whiteman found out, it’s Krause’s ability to respond to the needs of today’s modern agricultural producer that has it celebrating over 90 years in business.
From its humble beginnings in a small farm shop in Meade County, Kan. when Henry Krause built his first one-way disc plow, the Krause Corporation has grown into one of the world’s top manufacturers of tillage equipment and grain drills. In 1988 Fortune Magazine listed Krause tillage equipment among the 100 products that America makes best.
Today, Krause’s modern production facility in Hutchinson, Kan. covers 40 acres with over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space under one roof. Krause Corporation, still under close family ownership, produces the largest selection of farm tillage equipment and grain drills of any short line manufacturer in the world. Krause products, recognized as the finest quality available, include disc harrows, field cultivators, chisel plows, disc/coulter chisels, Landsman and Landstar one-pass finishers, row crop cultivators, no-till and minimum till grain drills and soil packers.
Dominating the Industry
Introduced in 2003, the Dominator® is Krause’s answer to the industry’s residue challenges. “The Dominator Primary Tillage System was designed specifically to perform in today’s high population/high yielding corn environment,” explains Curt Davis, product and marketing manager for Krause Corporation. “We really took a look at upgrading our products and that segment of the market in general. Many of our competitors’ machines in that area were outdated. So we developed a new platform. It gained interest from dealers and farmers alike. And with corn becoming a more popular crop to grow because of profitability and markets that have become available due to ethanol production for fuel, it seemed like a definite winner.”
Proper crop residue management is important to higher yields. The Dominator’s innovative design provides superior performance through higher speeds and reducing the number of seed bed preparation trips. “Strong corn stalks can resist pests, drought and winds,” explains Davis. “The Dominator helps deconstruct this seemingly indestructible residue and works it into the ground making it work for the farmer.” The Dominator cuts and sizes residue more effectively than current tillage tools. A coulter module, equipped with a live-hydraulic down pressure system and ultra-large 25-inch coulters provides the cutting force. Spaced every nine inches and indexed to the shanks, the coulters cut residue cleanly and don’t windrow soil and residue like discs where it can cause plugging in the shanks. An innovative new system called the Residue Manger positions stalks laterally, ahead of the coulters for an even higher percentage of residue sizing. Krause offers the Dominator in 12- and 15-foot rigid models or 18- and 21-foot folding models.
Maximizing Crop Yield
The Krause TL 6200 Landsman® is another Krause standout product and a key component in the secondary tillage phase of the Profit Till System. The Landsman’s unique and highly efficient 4-Step Tillage System, incorporating discs, cultivator shanks, leveling and a new 24/7 conditioner system, is designed specifically to maximize crop yield and productivity. The Landsman offers unmatched productivity with a new six bar frame for non-stop residue handling and sizes to 45 feet to create up to 400 acres per day of ideal seed bed.
“The Landsman 4-Step Tillage System provides agronomic solutions to many of the crop production problems farmers face,” says Davis. “Increased residue due to higher yields, bt corn varieties and less “over winter” stalk deterioration are just a few of the situations that can push field cultivator seed bed preparation systems beyond their design capabilities.”
The agronomic benefits provided by the Landsmen 4-step tillage system culminate in increase yield potential. According to Davis, increasing crop yield is the most effective way to increase a farm’s profitability and independent agronomic and university studies have shown the 4-step tillage system provided superior yield to field cultivator and no-till systems.
A customer-driven business, Krause Corporation has been reacting to its customers’ needs since the beginning. “Our new Krause Agri-Finance™ product goes back to that customer focus and the fact that farming today is about big numbers. It’s not unusual for a farmer to have a million dollar operating loan,” says Davis. In the past, a farmer would have to go to his lending institution or
bank to secure a loan to purchase Krause equipment. Now, with Krause Agri-Finance, he can finance directly with his equipment manufacturer.
Krause Agri-Finance is a branded financial program offering loans and leases for Krause dealers and their customers. ProPartners Financial is the strategic partner behind the custom-designed financial services program, with more than $15 billion in assets and $2.7 billion in capital. ProPartners Financial is funding all approved loan and lease requests, providing program management and support, underwriting credit, preparing and documenting all loan or lease information and servicing all accounts.
Krause Agri-Finance provides customized finance solutions, allowing on-the-spot loans and leases through an easy application, competitive rates and flexible term lengths and payment schedules. “Krause Agri-Finance in alliance with ProPartners, will provide the dealers and their customers the necessary financing with exceptional customer service making purchases of equipment easy,” says Davis. “Krause Agri-Finance will finance loans with minimal down payments, flexible financing options and schedules. Our Krause dealers are excited to provide their customers with financing options that can easily be tailored to meet the seasonality of our customers’ farming operations and use of our products.”
Change Cropping Up
Krause Corporation is looking toward the future with a keen eye. “We are really trying to do business differently than we’ve done in the past,” says Davis. “We want to go about things a
bit more uniquely and do it differently than other companies do.
We believe there are so many opportunities to explore with dealers and customers and many more opportunities that we can provide to our end users for equipment and dealers. In addition, there are electronics and the Internet to consider; the Internet and its capability to order parts and allow customers to communicate with us and allow them greater availability to equipment etc.”
Krause is also expanding its export opportunities. “That’s been exciting. In the last year we’ve exported product to several different countries including England, Germany, Russia, Australia and New Zealand,” says Davis. “We’re seeing a great deal of potential for our grain drill and tillage products. Although the overseas market has never been a prime focus it has become logistically feasible to do business globally with today’s technology so we are definitely keeping all our options open. “Bottom line, Krause is definitely changing. “We’re becoming more progressive than we’ve ever been before,” says Davis. “We’ve always provided good equipment to our customers but there is definitely a drive to keep offering the customer more. We’ve taken a keen interest in being better than ever.”