FULL SPEED AHEAD. Paul Mahoney rotary harrows 25 to 30 acres an hour while chewing up corn stalks and mulching the soil ahead of no-tilling soybeans in his 1,300 acre Appleton, Minn., operation.

Residue Management Starts Now!

Harvest time is when you need to find ways to warm up your no-till soils next spring.

When it comes to effectively managing soil temperatures or moisture next spring in your no-tilled fields, your residue management strategies need to be in place this fall.

Here’s how five no-tillers from the Corn Belt are effectively tackling their residue management concerns.

Rotary Harrowing Helps

Don Kautz of Elizabeth, Ill., pulls a Phoenix rotary harrow at 10 mph to cover 300 acres of soybean stubble in 14 hours with only 35 gallons of diesel fuel.

By pitching the angle of the rotary harrow, he mixes a small amount of urea in the soil while incorporating 5 to 7 percent of the residue left behind the combine. Last spring, he went through corn stalks twice with the rotary harrow to level the field before no-tilling oats.

Work The Residue

Bob Featheringill has been no-tilling since 1979 at Attica, Ohio, and has been 100 percent no-till since 1988 with 800 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. Over the past 23 years, no-till has doubled his soil organic matter levels.

In clay soils, he often runs the AerWay rolling-tined implement 8 to 9 inches deep. “We want to provide a place for feeder and tap roots to grow,” he says. “So we’re more aggressive with the AerWay than some farmers who simply strip-till.”

Following corn harvest, he uses the AerWay to fracture the soil surface and to improve air and water movement on ground that will be no-tilled to soybeans. On no-till soybean stubble, he uses the AerWay in the spring to dry…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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