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With yearly production of 1.4 million pheasants and 1,100 acres of no-tilled crops, operating more efficiently by reducing labor needs and trimming input costs can have a tremendous impact on year-end results at Mac Farlane Pheasant Farm.
But while constantly seeking new ways to become more efficient, the Janesville. Wis., farm staff is also keenly interested in finding new ways to protect the environment
“In fact, no-till is consistent with many other environmental things that we do on the farm,” says company president Bill Mac Farlane.
The second generation operator of this family farm that’s been raising pheasants since 1929, he urges farmers to recognize that they’re only cropping their valuable land resource for a short period of time.
“My father had a keen interest in soil conservation, hated to see erosion and we put in a number of waterways in the 1960s,” says Mac Farlane. “This ground is very sandy, drains well and works well for raising ringneck pheasants from the standpoint of disease control. Yet the sandy ground also makes it more erodible and shows the need for soil erosion control in the farm’s overall stewardship plan.”
Because of the family’s keen interest in conservation, they started no-tilling in 1990 to reduce costly erosion. “I can’t imagine farming this ground today without no-till,” says Mac Farlane.
Crops manager Dale Earleywine, a regular attendee at the National No-Tillage Conference, started working at the farm in 1986. At that time, they were raising 75,000…