Agronomy Tip: Fall Residue Management
In addition to fall tillage and cover crops, Stephanie Smith, Golden Harvest Agronomist, recommends evaluating residue in fields this fall.
A minimally-tilled field would ideally have 6-8” long pieces of nutrient residue, which are the right size so as not to float or blow away. Anything bigger or with fewer entry points will take microbes longer to break down, keeping nutrients away from the crop when it needs them most.
Shorter nutrient residue, or pieces about 2-3” long, do have more points of entry but wash away easily when it rains. Them, the fertility is lost; in particular, phosphorous and potassium.