Submitted to: Australian Farm Journal
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2003
Publication Date: 7/1/2003
Citation: SIEMENS, M.C., WILKINS, D.E., CORREA, R.F. 2003. RESIDUE WHEEL IMPROVES CROP ESTABLISHMENT. AUSTRALIAN FARM JOURNAL 13(5):37-38. MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRAIA:AGRICULTURAL PUBLISHERS PTY LTD. . 2003.
Technical Abstract: Adoption of conservation tillage in the Pacific Northwest lags that of the United States in part due to the lack of reliable seeding equipment for planting into the high residue densities encountered in this region. To overcome this problem, a drill attachment was developed to manage heavy residue next to the furrow opening tines of hoe-type no-till drills. The patented device consists of a fingered rubber wheel, a rubber inner ring, and a spring-loaded arm which pivots about vertical and horizontal axis. The performance of the device was evaluated in terms of stand establishment and yield in Oregon. Test site locations varied significantly in the amount and condition of crop residue and were planted to a variety of different crops. As compared to the standard drill without the attachment, use of the residue management wheel was found to increase the stand establishment of small seeded crops such as Canola and mustard by over 40 percent and large seeded crops such as wheat and barley by about 17 percent. Increases in stand establishment were attributed to fewer piles of residue covering the seed row. Use of the device also showed trends to increase crop yield. Increases in yield of up to 11 percent were found in 8 of the 9 trials conducted, however these differences were generally not significant. Although the residue management wheel costs $300 per unit to fabricate, using the device may be economically feasible if it results in significant improvements in both stand establishment and yield.