Agronomy Library > Soil Conservation

Residue Managers for No-Till Crop Production - Direct Seeding Advantage 2004
Author: Don Wentz
Date Created: November 23, 2004
Last Reviewed: November 23, 2004

Direct seeding into last year’s crop residue can create a problem for most types of seed drill openers. The disk openers have a tendency to hairpin. Hair pinning occurs when the disk opener, placing the seed on the straw, pushes the residue into the soil thus preventing good soil seed contact. The result is poor crop emergence. Hoe openers cause straw to gather at the opener and plug and accumulate residue. Areas where residue is accumulated do not allow light, heat and moisture to penetrate the soil and so poor germination results. Residue managers are designed to move or push the previous crop straw out of the way or hold it in place as the opener passes by. The overall trends show that increased crop emergence occurs when residue managers are used. 

For the past 2 years, Reduced Tillage LINKAGES has supported a research study conducted by AgTech Centre, looking at 5 different residue manager units. The use of residue manager technology is common in the United States in row crop applications. There are several Alberta farmers with row crop drills that utilize residue mangers. One Alberta farmer has developed his own prototype residue manager. The object of the AgTech Centre study was to establish the benefits of residue managers for direct seeding of cereal, oilseed and pulse crop and to determine which unit performed best.

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