Effect of residue management methods on no-till drill performance

Mark C. Siemens, Dale E. Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Excessive crop residue on the soil surface impedes drill performance and subsequent crop production in conservation tillage systems. To address this issue, 10 different residue management strategies were evaluated to determine their effect on no-till drill performance in terms of seedling establishment, early plant vigor, and crop yield. Field conditions were characterized by size, concentration, and distribution of residue. Residue management strategies included leaving tall standing stubble, using various chopping and spreading devices, and removing the residue by baling. Experiments were conducted in northeastern Oregon fields that had been previously seeded to winter wheat and produced 9.8 and 10.5 t/ha of residue in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Winter and spring wheat plots were seeded with a hoe-type no-till drill. For the residue management methods used in this study, stand establishment and seedling dry weight were reduced by 20% to 58% and 22% to 46%, respectively, when the full quantity of residue was left on the soil surface as compared to those where the residue concentration was reduced by baling. Seeding into high concentrations of residue left by non-uniform residue distribution systems also caused reductions in stand establishment and early plant growth. Long standing stubble and high concentrations of loose straw greater than 18 cm in length caused unacceptable drill plugging. Successful drill operation was achieved in crop residues exceeding 9.8 t/ha when stubble height was less than or equal to row spacing and the majority of cut straw was cut into pieces less than 18 cm long. Although consistent yield differences were not found, the results of this study showed that residue concentration and size have an important influence on no-till crop yield potential and drill operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Crop production
  • Direct seeding
  • Drill performance
  • No-till drill
  • Residue management
  • Seedbed preparation
  • Seedling emergence
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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