Date of this Version
This NebGuide describes problems associated with inadequate distribution of crop residue behind the combine, and identifies techniques to obtain proper distribution.
Uniform distribution of crop residue during harvest is essential to the successful use of conservation tillage systems. Crop residue on the soil surface reduces soil erosion and conserves soil moisture. However, the residue must be properly managed to achieve these benefits. Uniform distribution behind the combine is an important part of this management. Large capacity combines equipped with 24- to 30-foot grain platforms and 8- to 12-row corn headers complicate residue distribution. When crop material is collected from a 30-foot width and deposited from the rear of the combine in a 6-foot band or windrow, residue related problems can be expected. This is a common problem with wheat, but has also been experienced with corn and other heavy residue crops.