By Georgine Yorgey
WSU Extension is hosting an upcoming workshop on the basics of High Residue Farming on November 30, 2016, 9:30-3:30 in Moses Lake. Details for those interested in attending are available here (lunch included if you pre-register by 11/22).
High residue farming is a term that covers a number of different specific farming practices, including strip-till and direct seeding. In all these systems, the amount of tillage is reduced in order to maintain crop residues on the soil surface. High residue farming provides a number of benefits, but two key ones include reducing wind erosion (and the need to replant sand-blasted crops) and reducing the amount of time and equipment needed to plant. It can also improve soil health, increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil, and in some cases increase the potential for double-cropping.
Want to learn more but can’t attend the workshop? CSANR faculty Andy McGuire has published a set of four extension publications that cover the basics. These are:
- High Residue Farming Under Irrigation: What and Why provides an overview of high residue farming, including its benefits and challenges. It also discusses some special considerations for high residue farming in the irrigated agriculture regions of the far western United States.
- High Residue Farming Under Irrigation: Crop Rotation covers choosing a cropping sequence, specific cover crops, and special considerations for irrigated cropping systems in the far western United States.
- High Residue Farming Under Irrigation: Residue Management through Planting explains how to plant crops into high residue conditions with a planter or drill. It covers residue management, planter and drill modifications, and soil fertility adjustments.
- High Residue Farming Under Irrigation: Pest Management Considerations gives an overview of the effects of adopting HRF on the management of weeds, insects, and diseases.
- High Residue Farming Under Irrigation: Strip-till covers the benefits, challenges, and implementation of strip-till planting. This particular high residue farming system combines some of the benefits of clean tillage systems with those of high residue cover.