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Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
For most farmers in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, the spring planting season seems like a long distant look into the future, but prepping for that time should start from the seat of the combine. With increases in yield, plant population and stalk quality, residue management has become one of the most important aspects of farming. Residue management should start with the proper distribution of fodder from the combine. Inconsistent spread patterns that do not distribute evenly the width of the head can lead to problems during fall tillage, anhydrous applications, and most importantly spring seed beds.
Uneven or poorly sized residue will have a lasting effect on next year’s crops. Areas with thick mats of residue or streaked residue could cause cooler, wet soils in the spring that will delay planting. There are many practices to consider for the residue management of high-yielding fields for any type of soil or tillage system. Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® continues to test numerous practices to aid in residue decomposition and microbial activity ranging from moldboard plow to the utilization of cover crops. While there is not one silver bullet for residue management, having a plan in place will help you prepare for a successful start to the next planting season.
Author: Jon Skinner
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