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Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems
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Jim
Posted 3/29/2011 22:02 (#1698028)
Subject: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems


Driftless SW Wisconsin

This has been a very interesting week for me working with several different customers, old and new.

In most of life's endeavors, the better you get at it and the longer you do it, the EASIER it gets.

However in raising high yielding continuous corn on corn in a strip till system, the second and third years especially can be a real challenge in dealing with the residue produced by your "success". the soils biological engine that loves corn may not have kicked in fully yet.

The second or third year, especially after converting from conventional tillage, the soil structure (defined as the ability of the soil to support a load without undo compaction) may not have had time to heal itself yet and shows the effects of grain cart tire tracks, 30,000 lb+ axle loads etc.... In a way for the first few years it seems that the more successful you are (= high yields) the HARDER it gets the next season.

At this point it is often tempting to hook a tillage tool of some sort to the rear of a big tractor and appease the neighbors peer pressure.

However I had a conversation with one long time central IL strip tiller and multi year Pluribus user on how he deals with all the residue. Here is his very interesting prescription for dealing with way over 200 bu/a corn residue without turning the soil over and using many of the benfits of strip till. He is also in a very heavy, often wet spring area.

  1. Combine in the fall with a corn head with knife rolls (but no other cutting devices or chopping) such as the JD 600 series with the optional knife rolls. run the cornhead to leave about 12-16" high standing stalks wherever possible.  Everything abaove that is generally cut into small pieces by the knife rolls and laying on the ground between the standing 12-16" stalk stubs.
  2. Spread manure, lime if needed. (ph is extremely important to get the most out of your fertilizer and high yields) Do this as soon as possible after the combine leaves the field.
  3. Run an AERWAY at about 8 mph and 8" deep at a slight angle to the rows over the field in the fall as soon as possible after manure or lime or whatever (if used) is applied. The AERWAY pokes holes in the soil, breaks up some compaction, pins some residue to the soil and tosses just enough soil on top of the residue to start the breakdown process. the AERWAY leaves just enough of the 12-16" stalks standing to keep whatever unattached residue is left on top from blowing. Do not use a basket, etc. on the back of the AERWAY. This process has some of the benefits of what is being called "Vertical Tillage" without many of the drawbacks to what is being called "Vertical Tillage". It also incorporates anything spread such as manure or lime vertically in the soil profile.
  4. In the spring he uses the Pluribus to spring strip till right into what is left behind the AERWAY applying a number of different fertilizer options as required.
  5. Plant into the strips often just a few hours behind the strip till pass, with just a few gallons/a 10-34-0 or equiv in furrow for insurance.

As far as nitrogen, this customer is in a fall anhydrous area. He tells me he tries to apply nh3 in the fall after the AERWAY pass but recently applied it in the spring with RTK and a standard nh3 applicator then moved over 15" and did the Pluribus pass a few days later and planted. He felt this was very successful and eliminated the need to sidedress which in his area he felt he did not have time for.

This is similar to Greywolf's plan to his "side dressing" all as part of his spring strip till ahead of the planter.

For those not in an NH3 area, I would use what many of or customers do and apply no N in the fall, 1/3 of your N as part of a dry mix or just banded liquid 28% in the Pluribus strip then 2/3 side dressed, maybe on 60" centers.

What I had seen but not really fully considered before is the benefit to using an AERWAY in the fall to get most of the residue in contact with some soil (another of Greywolf/Bruce's talking points for a northern short season climate) and also break up at least the upper portion of some tire compaction.

Just another idea from a very successful farmer. Thanks to him for sharing his methods. Think of this as another tool in the toolbox.

Jim at Dawn

edit: here is a photo of an Aerway in cornstalks from the Aerway Co website. This isn't really the 12" tall stalk condition but does give an idea. Maybe someone else can share their experience or field photo of an Aerway behind a knife roll cornhead in high yeilding corn. My customer runs a 25 ft Aerway. Does take some power at 8 mph.



Edited by Jim 3/29/2011 22:21




(Aerway in corn from Aerway website.jpg)



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Attachments Aerway in corn from Aerway website.jpg (92KB - 41 downloads)
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scmn_06
Posted 3/29/2011 23:02 (#1698181 - in reply to #1698028)
Subject: RE: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems


Blue Earth, MN
How soon after manure application does he run the Aerway? Do you know if that method satisfies the manure regulations regarding incorporation?
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Jim
Posted 3/29/2011 23:34 (#1698244 - in reply to #1698181)
Subject: RE: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems


Driftless SW Wisconsin

I'm not sure on either count. however my understanding is that the standard practice is to run it immediately after spreading to minimize losses. The impression I got it that the sooner and faster you run the better the incorporation action and 8 mph is the goal. sort of like the Pluribus turbulent transition point at about 5 mph. I would bet with manure there is still a fair amount on or near the surface but doubt it would run off much.

Jim at Dawn.



Edited by Jim 3/29/2011 23:35
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ezzard
Posted 3/30/2011 07:57 (#1698511 - in reply to #1698181)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems


SE IA
I have seen a custom manure guy running an Aerway on his drag hose rig. Would make one less pass if you were using this system. I wouldn't think it would do as good a job of incorporation but I don't have any experience running one.
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Philbert
Posted 3/30/2011 08:00 (#1698517 - in reply to #1698028)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems



BENTON, MO
Does he plant on top of the old rows or beside them?
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Gerard
Posted 3/30/2011 08:48 (#1698600 - in reply to #1698511)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems



Woodham, Ontario
I have an aerway SSD system which puts the manure right on top of the holes and it works much better than a splashplate system combined with the aerway. In these pics I applied 7000 gallons per acre and very little is on top of the ground. There is no way to go 8 MPH and apply significant amounts of manure...



Edited by Gerard 3/30/2011 09:07
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Jim
Posted 3/30/2011 10:10 (#1698741 - in reply to #1698517)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems


Driftless SW Wisconsin

He spring strips and plants the next years corn crop between last year's corn rows.

Gerard, I don't think the 8 mph applies when applying manure with the Aerway as you are!

I think whatever is applied is just spread on the surface as is lime or any boadcast fertilizer then the Aerway is run at an angle to the 12-16" tall corn row stubs at 8 mph.

The concept is to pin the upper parts of the corn plant cut by the knife rolls into contact with the soil and toss abit of soil on the pieces. The 8 mph helps to toss a bit of soil. But there is just enough of the stalks left standing to keep things from blowing over the winter.

Jim at Dawn



Edited by Jim 3/30/2011 10:11
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earp
Posted 3/30/2011 16:49 (#1699246 - in reply to #1698741)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems



Manila, Ar
7k gallons /acre.............jeez how could you possibly haul it to the field fast enuf?...........
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Gerard
Posted 3/30/2011 18:06 (#1699349 - in reply to #1699246)
Subject: Re: Corn on Corn - handling/breaking down residue in high yield systems



Woodham, Ontario
Depends how far you go. We have been pumping straight from the pit. Can pump almost 1000 gallons per minute, depends on how much hose and how thick it is. Drive a few miles per hour with the 15' aerway, but with the dual splashsplate @ 49' wide, I drove 1.2 MPH. The 7930 with IVT ran at 1200 RPM the entire time.

We are planning to have manure hauled 3 miles and they figure 3 trucks should be able to keep me going.
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