Date of this Version
Weed control, stubble management and planters for planting in winter wheat stubble are covered here.
Planting corn, sorghum or soybeans into untilled, weed-free winter wheat stubble that is 10 months old is an accepted practice in the Central Great Plains States. In Nebraska, this system is known as ecofallow. Treating the stubble with herbicides following wheat harvest (ecofallow) offers several advantages:
Weed and volunteer wheat growth can be eliminated. Weed growth robs valuable moisture that could be used by the next year's crop.
Standing stubble provides an excellent snow trap during the winter. Snow melt can provide moisture for the next year's crop.
Stubble on the soil surface can insulate soil to reduce evaporation of moisture that accumulates in the profile. It also protects the soil from wind and water erosion. Wind velocity at the surface is reduced by wheat stubble, and stubble absorbs the impact of the raindrops and slows runoff, which reduces erosion and increases infiltration.