Managing stubble at harvest improves sowing success

Riverine Plains - GRDC

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Very practical and presents easy to understand research and trial results throughout. Provides a worked example of how to calculate stubble load after harvest.

Stubble management guidelines for the Riverine Plains

This factsheet helps you to make decisions around stubble management at harvest time.

It helps via the following key sections:

  1. Calculating potential stubble loads
    1. Lower the harvesting height
    2. Control residue spread at harvest
    3. Stubble mulching or incorporation
    4. Burn stubble
    5. Legumes in the rotation

The following key points are prescribed:

  • Calculating the stubble load at harvest supports a strategic approach to managing stubble at sowing, maximising the benefits of retained stubble while minimising the challenges.
  • For high-yielding crops, lowering the harvest height can reduce the overall stubble load while still maintaining the benefits of retained stubble.
  • Mulching or lightly cultivating stubble soon after harvest increases the soil–stubble contact and aids stubble breakdown before sowing.
  • While burning helps to reduce stubble loads at sowing, and can improve weed control and pre-emergent herbicide efficiency, it increases the risk of erosion and impacts on soil moisture retention during the summer fallow
2018 - Australia - Riverine Plains - GRDC
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