Submitted to: Soil & Tillage Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
In the northern Corn Belt, plant residue retained on the soil surface increases the risk of poor stand establishment and growth of corn. This limits the adoption of no-tillage and other conservation tillage production systems that are effective in reducing soil erosion. Field and laboratory research has shown that surface residue reduces soil heat unit accumulation by reducing soil heat flux and increases soil moisture by reducing evaporation rate. Surface residue also hinders planter operation and uniformity of seed placement. Removing plant residue from the seed row increases germination and emergence rate by improving seed depth uniformity and increasing soil heat unit accumulation. Appropriate use of planter attachments to manage surface plant residue have been shown to improve conditions in the seed zone for reliable corn establishment in the northern U.S. Corn Belt.