Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2013 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report.


Copyright © 2013 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Corn residue is used for forage and feed, but residue removal effects on soil properties and yield is a concern. Residue removal effects on corn yields and soil organic carbon is site specific. Removing 50% of the residue from rain fed sites reduced corn yield by 1.9 bu/ac, whereas removing 40% of the residue from irrigated sites increased corn yield by 15.4 bu/ac. However, removing 53% of the residue increased soil erosion by 30%. Agronomic practices such as reduced tillage, cover crops, or manure may offset residue removal impacts. Residue removal should be based on site-specific characteristics and management, but is feasible when sufficient residue is retained to protect soil from erosion and sustain soil biota.