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November 18, 2014

Expert Q & A: What Is the Value of Your Corn and Soybean Residue?

Posted by Agricen

Why is your corn and soybean residue valuable and how can you benefit from a post-harvest application of Accomplish LM?


Q: I mostly consider my residue to be a nuisance. Do I need to rethink that view?

A: Given where prices are, growers are really going to have to focus to make money next year. Residue can play an important role in helping to achieve that. Residue doesn't have to be just another obstacle to deal with when you're trying to get your crop planted. By releasing the nutrients locked up in your crop stubble, you get more ROI out of your original nutrient investment by benefitting next season's crop. We recommend that you rethink your residue as an important component of the planning process for next year's crop. 


Q: What is the value of my residue?

A: Here's a great example of the value of residue. If you're a corn producer, for every bushel of corn you grow, your residue contains an average of 0.45 lbs of N, 0.16 lbs of P, and 1.1 lbs of K. If you had a 200-bushel crop in 2014, that's an NPK value of 90-32-220. Think about how valuable those nutrients can be if you can release them in time for spring planting.


Q: With this year's large crop, how should I deal with all of my post-harvest residue? What's a good way to speed residue breakdown and access the nutrients in my stubble?

A: Many growers turn to fall tillage or a fall nitrogen application to help them speed residue breakdown. Although tillage does a good job of physically breaking up the residue and increasing the surface area that microbes have to work on, it has little direct influence on the mineralization of nutrients trapped in residue. Nitrogen can provide some benefits, but lack of sufficient N is not the main limiting factor for residue breakdown–soil temperatures are, since microbial activity, which is what produces the biochemistry needed to break down crop residue, drastically drops off below 50 degrees F. This is why we recommend a post-harvest application of Accomplish LM–which contains biochemistry that isn't dependent on soil temperatures–to help you capture the value of your residue. You can learn more about the benefits of a residue application of Accomplish LM by reading our white paper.

Topics: Soybeans, Crop Residue, Corn, Accomplish LM