Harvest isn't yet finished everywhere. Once it is, though, thoughts will turn to next year and handling residue so that you can get a good seedbed for your crop next spring.
Crop Watch 10/16: Consider two hybrids per field when selecting seed corn for 2016
Maybe you took advantage of some innovations by both full-line and short-line equipment companies who are offering products and options that make managing residue more efficient. More of them seem to recognize that with wider combine heads, it's important to have the ability to distribute residue across the width of the head if you choose. That's especially true if you're in reduced tillage, particularly no-till.
Barry Fisher, regional manager of soil health for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, says that laying a good foundation for no-till starts in the fall with proper, even spreading of residue. That's especially important for spreading soybean residue ahead of no-till or even conservation tillage corn.
Otherwise, Fisher says the soil may wind up a bit cooler and a bit wetter where there is more residue on the surface as planting time approaches. The best situation is to have residue spread evenly so that you can so soil conditions are more uniform. Then you can set your planter to the conditions and know that conditions should be similar for every row.
Claas rolled out two new options for residue spreading and stalk chopping on Lexion combines this year. They were on display at the Farm Progress Show, and will be featured in upcoming issues featuring new products form fall shows.
Agco is introducing a whole new series of corn heads. One of their options is how they handle stalks. Look for more information in the November issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer.
Crop Watch 10/9: Many new farm products simplify harvest, make life easier
Both combine makers and short-line companies are offering options to either chop stalks, crimp stalks or knock stalks down on rows where tires run. The first two have to do with promoting quicker bacterial action for breakdown of residue. Knocking stalk shanks down on rows where tires run help protect tire life from stiff, strong stalk stubble.