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Hydraulic conditions required to initiate movement of unanchored residue materials are identified in the present study. Selected amounts of corn, cotton, pine needles, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, and wheat residue are placed in a flume on a sand surface, and flow is then introduced at the top of the flume in progressive increments. The discharge rate and flow velocity necessary to cause residue movement are determined. The ratio of critical flow depth to residue diameter, critical Reynolds number, critical shear stress, dimensionless shear stress, and boundary Reynolds number are calculated from hydraulic measurements. Regression equations are developed to relate dimensionless shear stress to boundary Reynolds number and residue diameter. Boundary Reynolds number, in turn, is related to residue diameter and cover. Close agreement is found between predicted and actual parameter values obtained from the regression relations. The regression equations can be used to estimate the beginning of motion for other residue materials if residue diameter and cover are known.