Agronomy Library > Soil Conservation

Equipment Issues in Crop Residue Management for Direct Seeding
Author: Marshall Eliason & Murray Green
Date Created: November 01, 1999
Last Reviewed: February 16, 2007

Equipment Issues in Crop Residue Management for Direct Seeding Uniform and wide distribution of straw and chaff residues is essential in direct seeding systems. You must spread residues evenly to avoid or reduce problems such as: equipment plugging; poor seed placement; disease, weed and insect infestations; nutrient tie-up; and cold soil under straw piles and heavy residue mats

Good residue distribution can be achieved for most crops with the equipment and options available for today's combines. Developing a residue management system to fit your overall farm operation requires careful consideration of various factors including: 

- capability of the planter or other machines to handle the crop residue
- width of cut of the combine or windrower
- spreading of straw and chaff from the combine
- total crop residue and its condition, particularly after a heavy crop, or green and damp straw
- frequency of lodged or tangled crop conditions
- weed control methods used
- alternative uses for straw, where straw is plentiful 

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