No-Till

10 Ways to leave more residue

  1. Follow a crop rotation sequence with higher residue producing crops. Soybeans don't provide the same kind of protection as corn for example.  Also, high yields give more residues.
  2. Wait until spring for tillage operations. This is most important on soybean ground. Fall tilled soybean ground is very vulnerable to wind erosion in late winter and early spring.
  3. Reduce the number of tillage passes. In most cases, this is as important as the type of tillage performed.
  4. Plant rye or wheat as winter cover crops. This is a good option when you are growing low-residue crops such as soybeans.
  5. Set chisels and disks to work shallower. Residues can be buried to the tillage depth.
  6. Stop using the moldboard plow.
  7. Drive slower on tillage operations. Driving faster throws more soil and covers more residue.
  8. Use straight shanks and sweeps on chisel plows instead of twister shanks. Twisted shanks may bury 20 percent more residue.
  9. No-till drill soybeans instead of planting them conventionally. No-till drilling keeps more residue on the soil surface, and generally produces a quicker canopy.
  10. Convert to a no-till system. No-till disturbs residue only in the row.