Managing Corn Residue with Different Tillage Systems and N Applications Field Days

June 28, 2012

By Jim Fawcett and John Holmes, Extension Field Agronomists, and Greg Walston, Extension Program Director

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host two tours of residue management plots in July.

  • Wednesday, July 18, 10 a.m. to noon
    Ben and John Olson Farm,  (5 miles northeast of Van Horne on 21st Avenue Drive; lunch provided by the Benton County Cattlemen)
  • Thursday, July 26, 9 a.m. to noon
    NIACC campus

Dr. Mahdi Al-Kaisi and his graduate student, Lara Schenck, will explain their research looking at different approaches to managing corn residue prior to a soybean crop. Extension field agronomists will be on hand to discuss current crop problems. Local farmers and agronomists are encouraged to attend. Certified crop advisers can earn two soil and water credits by attending.

With greater corn yields and better insect and disease resistance, corn residue levels continue to increase. Farmers have applied liquid nitrogen in the fall to help breakdown corn residue. Dr. Al-Kaisi and Schenck are evaluating several tillage systems and two nitrogen rates to provide tips on managing fall corn stalk residue. During the field days, they will explain the treatments and share preliminary observations. 

The Iowa Soybean Association Research Committee has funded this research to help farmers learn how to manage corn residue more efficiently. In Benton County, Extension Program Director Greg Walston and local FFA students have helped collect emergence data and assisted with sampling and water infiltrations. NIACC agriculture classes have helped do tillage, apply treatments and collect information. 

For more information, contact your local ISU Extension and Outreach office. 

Jim Fawcett is an ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist. He can be reached at (319) 337-2145 or e-mail John Holmes is an ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist. He can be reached at 515-532-3453 or e-mail Greg Walston is a program director for ISU Extension and Outreach in Benton County. He can be reached at 319-472-4739 or e-mail

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