Grower Success Stories

Healthier Farms. Healthier Planet. Healthier bottomline.

Patsy Taylor Echo, OR

6,000 acres in production | alfalfa hay, pioneer seed corn, sugar snap peas and barley | lifelong farmer

Patsy farms on land that once belonged to her grandfather, and says they have always baled straw and mowed as a means of residue management. “We’ve got to get it off the ground,” she said. “We can’t plow it back in.” Patsy performs her own residue management practices, and buys and sells through Pacific Ag. “We’ve been doing business with Pacific Ag for 10 to 12 years,” she said. “We were their test pilot on stover. I’m really happy with them, and they’ve made great strides over the last four to five years,” she added.

James Connelly Spearman, TX

14,000 acres in production | corn, dryland wheat, dryland milo | farming since 1994

James grew up on a family farm, and returned to run that farm after high school. In 2006, he shifted from conventional tillage to strip till farming, leaving more residue than he had in the past. “Residue has become key to moisture conservation,” he said. “It’s also more economical to farm this way,” he added. “Before, it took three to four passes to till, and now we can do it in one pass,” he explained.

When Pacific Ag contacted James in 2013, there was not much residue being baled in the area, so it was not something James was necessarily looking for. “The biomass plant generated an opportunity, though, and I got onboard pretty quickly,” he said. “I was a little reluctant, so I started Pacific Ag on just a few of my acres. It soon turned into everything they could bale,” he said.

“I was one of the first ones down here to work with Pacific Ag to bale residue. I can see the benefits of it,” James said. “Our wheat yields were better this year because of it.”

TJ Hansell Hermiston, OR

10,000 acres in production between two farms | Timothy hay, alfalfa, wheat, corn, potatoes, onions, watermelon, grass seed | farming since 2000

TJ was raised on his family’s farm, and has been farming since he returned home from college in 2000. His brother, Kenzie, operates another of the family’s farms in Athena, Oregon. Together they cover about 10,000 acres.

“Working with Pacific Ag means we don’t have to make an even bigger investment in equipment and hours of labor in the field with that equipment,” TJ said. “They’ve allowed us to become excellent growers, not excellent balers. With Pacific Ag, we don’t have to focus on marketing, equipment and repairs—instead, we can focus on the quality of our craft,” he explained. “We recommend Pacific Ag to 10 growers a year, for the same reason we went to them—their ability to move quantity of product.”

Daryl Schaad Maxwell, CA

1,500 acres in production | rice and almonds | farming since 1986

Daryl is the fifth generation to farm on his family’s ranch property, and his son is part of the operation as well, marking the sixth generation to continue the tradition.

Up until 1990, Daryl burned his crop residue, which provided benefits of disease control, weed control and seed bed prep. When the government legislated a severe reduction in burning, he tried a few different methods of straw disposal as an alternative.

“Several companies came in and presented their services for baling and removal, and I had fairly poor results until a neighboring farmer across the valley recommended Pacific Ag,” Daryl said. “I was a little concerned (based on experience with other providers), so I went with Pacific Ag on a 50-percent basis. It was so good I was eager to try it again, and this year we went with them 100-percent. I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a great relationship and a great result,” he said.

“Pacific Ag has worked for a lot of my neighbors as well,” Daryl said, “and all of them are quite happy—I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback.”

Jay Lundeen Fowler, KS

Almost 5,000 acres in production | wheat, corn, fallow, soy beans | farming since 1980

Jay operates a third-generation family farm, and has been in the business “since I could follow my dad,” he said. Depending on the crop, Jay practices minimal tilling, no till, or strip till residue management. “We manage residue to control soil erosion and to retain moisture,” he explained, noting that there’s a delicate balance between leaving too little or too much residue on the fields. Too little leaves the soil vulnerable to wind and loss of moisture; too much, and your equipment will get plugged up. “Pacific Ag has already shredded and baled off my residue this year, and my equipment works better. I’m really pleased,” he said.

Bart Thoreson Gruver, TX

6,000 acres in production | corn, corn silage, milo, wheat | farming since 1977

Bart grew up farming, and part of his production acreage includes family farm property. He practiced conventional tilling until the mid 1990s, then switched to no tilling his wheat fields, and strip tilling his corn and milo fields. These practices conserve soil moisture and reduce the effects of wind erosion on his property.

For Bart, the advantage in hiring Pacific Ag was to get his cornfields ready for a second planting of wheat. “This year I was able to get a better stand going with the wheat because I didn’t have to deal with so much residue,” he said.

Todd Mason Goodwell, OK

6,000 acres in production | corn, wheat and milo | farming since 1992

Todd had been practicing strip till and minimal till on his fields for about 12 years before hiring Pacific Ag for crop residue management. “I saw them working on a neighbor’s farm. We decided to see how it worked. They get in, get the job done and get out, which is exactly what we needed,” Todd said. “They did exactly what they said they would do, and everything worked perfectly.”

Bud Galliard Texhoma, OK

2,000 acres in production | wheat, corn and sorghum | farming since 1976

Bud practices strip tilling and no tilling on his farm. “We don’t plant on bare ground,” he said. He practices residue management to conserve soil moisture and protect his fields against erosion. “We’ve been working with Pacific Ag since 2013,” he said. “We were looking for someone to bale wheat straw, and they did everything we asked them to do,” he explained. “I highly recommend Pacific Ag for removing stover and to make a little money,” he added.

Jeff Zortman Fowler, KS

4,500 acres in production | corn, wheat, milo | farming since 2006

Jeff operates a fourth-generation family farm that his great-grandfather homesteaded in 1884. He practices strip tilling and no till residue management on his irrigated corn crops, and virtually 100 percent no till residue management on his dryland wheat and milo crops.

Jeff first worked with Pacific Ag to clear an irrigated wheat field for a late corn crop. “In that situation, you want as little residue as possible so the corn can get up quickly,” he explained. “Pacific Ag got in, got it done, and got out—they baled off in 24 hours so I could plant the next day,” Jeff said. “I fully recommend Pacific Ag for getting in and out quickly.”

Jeremy Patterson Sublette, KS

4,000 acres in production | corn, wheat and milo | farming since 1997

Jeremy operates a family farm, and practices no till residue management on his dryland fields, and strip till residue management on his irrigated fields. “We started taking this approach in 2011 during the drought in order to save soil moisture,” Jeremy said. “It’s beneficial from that respect, but there can be issues with planting and emergence. We started baling with Pacific Ag to try to find the right balance,” he explained.

Jeremy has continued baling residue ever since. “We wanted to promote biomass ethanol, have a residue management tool, and make a little extra income,” he said. “Pacific Ag is timely and efficient,” he added. “They do a good job.”

Tom Huelskamp Fowler, KS

5,000+ acres | corn, soybeans, wheat | farming since the 1980s

Tom got into agriculture through 4H, then returned to his family farm after college to manage that, along with other separate operations.

Tom practiced ridge tilling on his irrigated crops beginning in the early 1990s, and shifted to strip till and no till in the 2000s. For him, the primary benefit of residue management is erosion control and moisture retention. “Our crops did well during the 2011 drought because of residue,” he said, noting that a neighbor saw lower performance from not leaving enough residue in place.

“We did several wheat circles with Pacific Ag and did nothing on other circles so we could compare,” Tom said. “We had excellent stands (on the managed circles).”

Roger Kelman Sublette, KS

7,000 acres in production | wheat, corn, sorghum | farming since 1980

Roger has been farming since 1980, “and all my life before that.” He grew up on a family farm, and has been practicing different forms of harvest residue management for 20 years—primarily for soil moisture retention. He strip tills his cornfields and applies a reduce-till treatment to his wheat fields.

Roger started working with Pacific Ag about the time that the ethanol plant was coming in and looking for residue. “It’s been pretty good,” Roger said. “They get the residue off fairly fast. I’d recommend them.”