By Steve Butzen, Clyde Tiffany and Darren Goebel, Pioneer agronomists
Management of corn residue should begin at harvest with uniform distribution of chaff and stalks behind the combine.
Uniform distribution has advantages for growers in no-till, minimum-till or conventional-till systems, including better erosion protection, less plugging of tillage or seeding equipment, and improved stand establishment. Success in uniformly distributing crop residue this fall also can help eliminate tillage passes next spring.
Today’s combines, with wider grain platforms and corn heads, concentrate a larger volume of plant material into the same narrow band exiting the combine. This material then must be spread back onto the wide harvest swath, making uniform distribution more challenging.
Combines with header widths of 20 to 30 feet or more may not be adequately equipped to uniformly distribute large volumes of residue. In such cases, adding manufacturer options or after-market equipment to more aggressively manage residue may be needed.… Continue readingRead More »