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Manure incorporation represents a compromise between best management practices for soil erosion control and manure management. Manure should be incorporated into the soil for odor control, increased availability of nutrients and control of potential manure runoff. However, soil and crop residue disturbance should be minimized for soil erosion control. This field study was conducted to: 1) determine the influence that commercially available soil-engaging components used to simultaneously apply and incorporate manure have on the reduction of crop residue cover [Part I - this article]; and 2) determine and evaluate some of the factors that may influence the amount of residue cover reduction that occurs with these components [Part II - companion article]. Seven different configurations of manure injectors/ applicators were operated in residue from irrigated and non-irrigated corn, soybeans and oats in the fall and/or spring of three different crop years.