“Kansas Wildlife & Parks” magazine story describes research findingsWhen remembering the “Good Ol’ Days” of pheasant hunting in western Kansas, many hunters don’t realize the impact of an outdated farming practice known as wheat-fallow rotation that provided for nesting gamebirds in ways not allowed by modern agriculture. However, new research is showing the way to increased farm profits AND better pheasant production through an updated version of the old system. That research is discussed in the March-April issue of Kansas Wildlife & Parks magazine.

In an article entitled, “ New Life for Wheat Fallow ,” KDWP biologist Randy Rodgers and KSU agronomist Alan Schlegel co-author a summary of important new findings on managing crop residues to foster weed growth and increase soil moisture storage, which in turn provides for higher pheasant populations and better hunting. The new system is known as Delayed Minimum-Till (DMT), and research since 1995 shows it superior in every way to the modern conventional wheat-fallow system typically used.

Though research shows that DMT is outperformed by true “No-Till” farming, No Till requires a switch to expensive new farming equipment and involves higher risk during years of drought or excessive mid-summer heat. Many farmers opt to continue their conventional row-crop operations, and DMT provides higher profitability and better pheasant production for them.

Kansas Wildlife & Parks magazine is published six times per year. The full-color publication features stories on natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation, as well as striking photographs by award-winning photographer Mike Blair. A one-year subscription is $10, a two-year $18, and a three-year is $27. Subscribe by calling toll-free 800/288-8387.