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Try these field-tested ideas for controlling residue in an effort to put more bushels in your grain tank.
When suppliers were asked how Conservation Tillage Guide readers could do a better job of capturing top yields and managing residue, they came up with a wide variety of valuable ideas.
1. In the heat of harvest, many operators forget that a no-till system requires focused management and planning. During harvest the operator must constantly consider how combine operation will affect the entire system.
What impact will wheel traffic have? How heavy will the residue be and will it affect next year's fertilizer rates? You've got to continually think several steps ahead to obtain the best results.
2. When spreading residue, consider the type of seeding equipment that you will be using with the next crop in terms of row widths and opener styles. For example, double-disc openers may not be recommended for residue levels over 45% while many no-till openers can handle up to 95% residue.
Will your equipment accommodate row-cleaning attachments, a coulter cart or will you be relying on the opener alone for residue management? The capabilities of your seeding equipment in handing large amounts of crop residue must drive your harvest-time residue-handling decisions.
3. Know your economic bottom line when evaluating equipment and cropping techniques as well as taking into consideration the anticipated final results.
4. Since standing atubble doesn't breakdown easily, we place residue…