Building Soils for Better Crops, Third Edition

Residue Availability

Overview

As pointed out in chapters 3 and 9, more residues are left in the field after some crops than others. High residue-producing crops—especially those with extensive root systems—should be incorporated into rotations whenever possible. There is considerable interest in the possible future use of crop residue for a variety of purposes, such as for biofuel production. However, farmers should keep in mind that frequent removal of significant quantities of residue from their fields—and there may be more pressure to remove them if production of biofuels from crop residue becomes economically viable—can have a very negative effect on the soil’s health.

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