Despite a harsh dry winter in Central Kansas, Pacific Ag continues this summer to provide growers with a crop residue management program. Paying cash for the wheat straw that farmers typically burn has proven successful for Kansas farmers. Courtney Wilson, harvest manager, is pleased with the 2015 harvest and believes there will be tremendous growth in the future.
During the 2015 harvest, Wilson worked with 15 growers to harvest residue from 13,000 acres. The average acre was producing one and a half bales, which is considerably low compared to other years. Wilson stresses the low yield as a weather problem citing the dry winter that led to slow growth and short stalks.
However, from an environmental standpoint, harvesting crop residue is still a win because Kansas growers will no longer need to burn fields and lose potential nutrients from wheat straw. Additionally, there is the added benefit of no till which saves money on fuel and the added labor expenses of running farm equipment.
The potential market here is really closer to 30, 40, or even 50 thousand acres says Wilson, but admits there is still a necessary process of educating growers about the benefits of a residue harvest. Once farmers understand that this is the “better option” they will flock to us describes Wilson.
Educating growers will still remain the primary focus and working with the media is one way to help raise awareness. If running harvest operations was not enough, Wilson has become a celebrity himself while fielding several media requests. He has been featured in the stories of Agam in Kansas, KAKE News, The Garden City Telegram among several others. Pacific Ag’s media attention is impressive since its new arrival to the market in 2012.
Wilson, who joined the company 2 years, says he enjoys working for Pacific Ag and fostering partnerships with farmers. Born and raised in Kansas, Wilson comes from a long line of agriculturist and enters with nearly 13 years of previous experience in baling. He appreciates the challenge of growing Pacific Ag’s footprint in the region and partnering with growers to find the right balanced solution. Wilson trusts that as he continues to educate growers, he will change the conventional views about crop residue management—saving time and money. Wilson says it’s simple, “the bottom line is that residue adds to your bottom line.”