By Jay Whetter
Residue management is cited as a both a benefit and challenge with conservation tillage systems.
An article from County Guide discusses a new report from the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF) that looks at the long-term challenges of residue management and it's impact on seed placement in a no-till system.
While resiude managers on planters are one option, the Country Guide article also notes strip-till as another option. The University of Manitoba has several researchers looking at strip tillage for row crops.
They hope to show Manitoba corn and soybean growers how strip-tillage can meet their goals for moisture and residue management and fertilizer placement while also adopting some conservation tillage. With strip tillage, U of M researchers found that yields match those of fully tilled fields, and crops that need moisture in August — soybeans, for example — have more potential to find extra moisture in untilled parts of the field.
Soil in the strip is also warmer, which can be important for emergence in western Canadian climates. But Yvonne Lawley, who oversees strip-tillage research as assistant professor in U of M department of plant science, says the berm is the key. “If the berm is flattened, soil in the strip is not warmer,” she says.