Posted 10/16/2020 12:13 (#8548806 - in reply to #8548007) Subject: RE: incorporating straw
Well, Alberta is a long way from Iowa so my thoughts may not apply. And I am just a newcomer to the soil health world so I don't know much. However, it sounds like you have a shortage of soil life in your ground. We don't raise as good oats as your area does, but watching my oats straw decompose this summer and fall there was a range in speed based on rotation and soil type.. Some fields had the straw gone in two months, some in three, and a few areas still have a little left. You didn't say what you fertility program or herbicide program is but these may make a difference on the amount of soil life. Anhydrous ammonia may be detrimental as well as glyphosate. We don't know for sure because there is no money from a big corporation to do trials. Maybe try a few acres with clover or alfalfa for nitrogen and use a mower instead of a spray if possible. It will take a couple years but the difference may be huge.
Also, do you happen to use Roundup just before harvest as a harvest aid?
I do know that soil life in general has been overlooked as a driver in many plant production areas. There are billions of little critters out there willing to work for us if we just improve their environment.