|Look for December 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
- Agricultural Irrigation
- Crop Production
- Drinking Water
- Lakes / Ponds / Streams
- Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
- Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens
- Livestock Manure Management
- Policy / Law / Economics / Human Behavior
- Stormwater Management
- Wastewater - Domestic Sewage
- Water Basics (groundwater, surface water, hydrology)
- Well and Wellhead Management
Soil & Water Management: Residue Management
The tilled plots in the foreground had considerable soil loss and runoff during intense spring rains. The tilled soil surface was susceptible to raindrop impact, causing erosion and surface crusting. The crop residue on the no-till plots in the background absorbed raindrop impact and allowed more water to infiltrate into the soil. With the improved soil structure, the crop is healthier in the no-till.
Crop residue absorbs raindrop impact and keeps the wind off the soil surface.
- This reduces soil particle detachment, reducing erosion from the forces of water and wind.
- By protecting the soil surface, surface crusting is also reduced, improving infiltration and decreasing runoff.
- This effect conserves soil and water and reduces risks to the environment.
- The residue mulch further conserves water by reducing evaporation from the soil surface.
- The decaying residue feeds soil microbes and earthworms, cycling the nutrients and building soil structure.
Crop residue must be properly managed year-round to provide the benefits without interfering with crop production.
- CropWatch (archived 2007): Harvest and residue management
- CropWatch (archived 2007): Considerations for the harvest of corn stover
- Iowa State University: Residue Management & Cultural Practices*
- The Value of Residue* by Mark Watson of Notill Org.
- USDA NRCS: Crop Residue Removal for Biomass Energy Production*
- Crop Residue Removal for Biomass Energy Production* by Susan Andrews, USDA White Paper
*pdf format. Downolad the free Acrobat Reader.