Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 106

McFarlane Manufacturing Co.
www.mcfarlanemfg.com / www.flexharrow.com / HQ: Sauk City, Wis. / Employees: 100 in
manufacturing division / Specialty: Agricultural tillage equipment and structural steel fabrication

mcfarlane equipment is
designed to perform
multiple jobs for farmers.

Till Tomorrow

mcfarlane manufacturing co. is diversifying its
manufacturing efforts. by russ gager
Most of agriculture relies on
something growing from a seed,
but to do that, the seed has to be
planted successfully. Preparing soil
for planting in as few operations as
possible is the goal of the agricultural tillage equipment designed and
manufactured by third-generation,
family owned McFarlane Manufacturing Co.
"We consider ourselves to be the
seedbed specialist," explains Todd
Lassanske, general manager of the
manufacturing division. "We're preparing the seedbed before planting,
which improves the productivity,
robustness and maintenance of the
106

manufacturing-today.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

soil by integrating the residues from
the prior year."
Incorporating the residues of corn
stalks, soybeans and wheat into the
ground in the fall, spring or both so
they can decompose and fertilize the
soil is the specialty of most of the
equipment McFarlane manufactures.
The equipment is designed to do several jobs so the number of times a
farmer has to pull equipment through
his fields with a tractor is reduced.
"We try to find innovative ways
to reduce the number of passes, the
number of operations and the cost of
the inputs," Lassanske says. "If you
have a very even field and a very good

Midwest

seedbed, you can drive the planter at
the maximum speed with high reliability of planting."
McFarlane Manufacturing Co. produces four major lines of tillage products in the 130,000-square-foot plant
at its headquarters in Sauk City, Wis.
"Those tillage products are all manufactured here in the United States
pretty much exclusively," Lassanske
says. "We're very vertical. We take our
products from raw steel all the way to
finish painting. We buy some components such as tires, bearings, springs
and cylinders, but beyond that, most
everything is produced right here."
The company also fabricates structural steel, mostly for construction,
which tends to be countercyclical to
the agricultural equipment market. So
welders can be shifted from one product line to the other to meet demand,
and the diversification helps the company's revenue overall.

Always Redesigning
McFarlane's engineers are always
redesigning the equipment. For example, genetically modified strains
of corn have different properties
than previous ones. "The stalks are
very robust and do not decompose
as quickly as they once did," Lassanske says. "That creates some challenges. We like to find niches that
we can do better than anybody else.
That's our modus operandi."
One of those niches is a McFarlane
product called INCITE™. "We've
coined the term Universal Tillage™,
because we have the INCITE™machine now that can do a shallow, aggressive or vertical tillage pass, as opposed to requiring a unique machine
to do each one," Lassanske says. "The
farmer can adjust the machine from
one type of tillage to the next without
getting out of the tractor cab."


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Contents
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