Let us spray. Hardi North America’s sizeable congregation of customers, including large and small farmers, hobby gardeners and lawn-keepers, are firm believers in the company’s sophisticated technology. A division of Hardi International, the Iowa-based enterprise provides a broad range of sprayer products that are both cost-effective and highly efficient, Dan Harvey reports.
Davenport, Iowa is situated square in the heart of U.S. agricultural activity – a geographic region where corn, wheat and soybean thrive in natural abundance
on wide expanses carved out to serve the world’s food needs.
Appropriately, that setting is home for Hardi North America. There, the company, a subsidiary of the Taastrup, Denmark-based Hardi International, has flourished for more than 30 years, providing customers the most sophisticated spraying equipment for both farm and lawn and garden needs.
“But we’re known as a specialist in spray equipment that focuses on the trailer spraying market for row crops, such as corn and soybean, as well as the broad acre crops that include wheat and other cereal grains,” defines Rob Kinzenbaw, Hardi North America’s product and marketing manager.
Regarded among a wide range of customers as a highly reliable and inventive organization, Hardi North America offers products that represent sound investments for end users. Its two biggest strengths are its experience and adaptability: It understands its markets well and, in turn, provides the appropriate innovation and customer service. The company’s increasingly complex sprayers address geographic factors and satisfy requirements related to specific crops in cost-effective fashion.
“We find that customers are looking to purchase the more sophisticated equipment to reduce their input expenses,” says Kinzenbaw. “It saves on costs related to fuel and fertilizer and increases accuracy as far as placing chemicals on the field.”
MEETING CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS
The company’s product lines are as broad as its customer range and market needs, which has kept the organization well ahead of the competition. For instance, the Commander line was designed to support modern professional farmers who generate crops on a large scale. “It’s our top-line sprayer,” indicates Kinzenbaw.
Designed for continuous use by the most demanding customers, the high-capacity Commander products include sprayers with 1200-, 1850- and 2400-gallon capacities. “It also offers boom sizes ranging from 80 to 132 feet and includes our automatic
tracking system that allows the sprayer to follow the tractor throughout the field, following behind the tractor and its tracks,” describes Kinzenbaw.
Three years ago, according to Kinzenbaw, the largest sprayer the company offered was its Commander 1500, a 1,500-gallon sprayer with 80- to 132-foot hydraulic fold booms, an economical machine that satisfied the largest applicators that require the highest workrate pesticide performance.
“Since then, we have introduced a redesigned Commander spraying line with models that include the Commander 4400, 6600 and 9000 that possess wide-ranging gallon capacities,” says Kinzenbaw. “We’ve witnessed a trend toward the larger sprayer, as
more people are looking to the 2,400-gallon capacity to see if it fits their operations.”
The company is also seeing more customers interested in buying the larger booms. “While we still sell a lot of 60-foot booms, more and more people are getting into the 90- and 120-foot boom ranges,” reports Kinzenbaw. “They’re also looking at a lot more
electronics and controls that manage the height and position of a boom to a field.”
The company’s Navigator equipment is designed for smaller farmers. “The line falls into the larger, middle-product group of the sprayer market and includes the Navigator 3000 and 4000 trailer models, which are our latest introductions. These have 800- and
1200- gallon capacity, respectively, and boom sizes ranging from 45 to 100 feet,” says Kinzenbaw.
Below that line, Kinzenbaw adds, Hardi North America offers the Ranger Series, a line that includes the Ranger 2200, a 600-gallon sprayer with boom sizes ranging from 45 to 66 feet. “The line is geared toward farmers with smaller and hillier fields,” he explains. “It has found application on farms in the east, as well as dairies,
such as in the Wisconsin area.”
In addition, the company has the TL/TR 300 gallon trailer sprayers that offer the most basic Hardi features for the small user who is looking for the most economical applicator. “The 300 T product is one of the first sprayers that Hardi brought to the marketplace back in the 1980s, and it is still viable today, particularly for the smaller
farmers with the smaller spraying areas,” comments Kinzenbaw.
For orchard and vineyard applications, Hardi has developed the Mercury and Arrow lines. “The Mercury is the larger line, with 925- and 600-gallon capacities, while the Arrow line has 270- and 400- gallon capacities,” reports Kinzenbaw. “Both lines have different attachments for spraying orchards and vineyards, particularly things such as grapes, walnuts, pecan trees, raspberries, blueberries and bushes.”
The company’s products also includes a line of three-point sprayers with capacity ranges of 100, 150 and 200 gallons and booms that range from 48, 60 and 90 feet. “These were designed for the hobby agriculturalist,” says Kinzenbaw. “We also have the small electric and gas-powered sprayers that people use around their yards, particularly people who have larger yards or are hobby gardeners.”
In addition, Hardi’s broad product range includes much smaller items such as backpack sprayers and hand-held equipment that are ideal for garden spraying and spot spraying.
While Hardi North America doesn’t perform any manufacturing, it assembles products at its Davenport facility that go out to customers in all farming areas of the U.S. and Canada. “Actual manufacturing is conducted in Denmark, but we do a lot of assembly, sub-assembly and testing and development here in Davenport,” reports Kinzenbaw. “We also do our warehousing here in Iowa.”
Organizational efforts are bolstered by an additional parts facility located in London, Ontario, Canada that delivers products and support to all Canadian Provinces. In addition, Hardi North America has a facility in Visalia, Calif., which it opened in 1999, that prepares and supplies the kind of equipment used on vineyards and orchards, which is an increasingly growing market.
Further, Hardi North America conducts all of its sales, marketing and management in-house at the Davenport location. While the equipment it offers is complex, the company has simplified its sales and marketing approach to foster direct communication with customers. The company essentially collaborates with
farmers, to meet their needs and reduce the intricacies of their own businesses.
The global parent company, Hardi International, was founded in Denmark in 1957 by Hartvig Jensen, a gardener who established the organization based on his need for a quality sprayer. The North American operation was established in 1982, after George White, the distributor for Hardi components in North America, went out of business. The parent company subsequently hired many of White’s employees and established the operation in Altoona, Iowa. The North American operation then shifted to Davenport in 1990.
In 2007, Hardi International aligned itself with EXEL Industries, a leading international manufacturer of spraying technology for three specific areas: agriculture, industry and the general public.
That progression helped foster Hardi North America’s estimable reputation for quality and reliability. Large and small farmers and hobby gardeners, as well as homeowners, know that the Hardi name implies reliable equipment that sprays with a high degree of
accuracy and affordability