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Seedbed Prep Starts with Fall Residue Management

Proper sizing and mixing are among the most critical steps toward effective crop residue management.

Crop residue brings a long list of benefits to your fields. Crop residue also can bring numerous challenges to your fields. The steps you take this fall can help you maximize the value of this year’s residue while helping ensure a fast, uniform start for next year’s crop.

Crop residue is one of the most important conservation tillage factors for improving soil’s physical and chemical properties. Residue helps reduce surface runoff and soil loss, conserve soil moisture and improve soil microorganism populations, soil organic matter content and soil hydraulic/ physical properties.1

But to realize those benefits, you have to properly manage your residue. Sound residue management starts during harvest and continues right through planting. Generally, effective management sorts into three areas: distribution, sizing and mixing into the soil. Case IH can help you manage all three.

Residue distribution

Poor, uneven distribution out the back of your combine creates several problems, including:1

  • Reduced weed control due to herbicide intercept
  • Poor tillage and planting equipment performance due to plugging
  • Plant injury ranging from poor emergence to reduced stands and yields

The Case IH residue management system is built to handle the tough residue associated with today’s crop genetics. This system delivers consistency across the larger header widths used on the Axial-Flow® 140 series and 240 series combines and helps prepare the ground for next year’s crop.

Residue sizing

When we say crop residue management starts at harvest, we mean it starts with the first plants pulled into the header. Case IH corn heads give you the ability to begin residue sizing right up front. Superior residue chopping and processing help our corn heads set up your tillage equipment for success.

Residue mixing

The full line of Case IH tillage implements helps you precisely customize results to your individual needs. From Ecolo-Tiger® disk rippers to True-Tandem disk harrows to Tiger-Mate® field cultivators, you will find a tillage tool built on the principles of Case IH Agronomic Design and ready to help you achieve the right amount of residue cutting, sizing and mixing for your fields.

It’s important to leave behind the right amount and type of crop residue at harvest time. Evenly spreading and properly sizing and mixing the residue through the fall will help fields maximize the creation of organic matter and nutrient cycling during the winter months, while also providing important conservation benefits. Be sure your combine is doing all it can to size and distribute residue this harvest season. And then talk to your Case IH dealer about the right tillage equipment to help you achieve a high-efficiency seedbed come spring.

LEARN MORE HERE

White paper: Crop Residue Management

White paper: Seedbed Condition

RESOURCES
1Residue Management & Cultural Practices. Iowa State University Extension website. store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/pm1901a-pdf. Reviewed September 2009. Accessed Oct. 2, 2016.
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