At the end of each season, one question on everyone’s mind relates to residue management. What equipment is the most effective? What residue management products would perform best in your fields? And most important, what will make you the most money?
During times of challenging commodity prices, farmers are constantly looking for ways to increase yields without breaking the bank. Knowing this, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team continues to strive to help farmers succeed by testing new products as they hit the market so farmers can make more informed input decisions in hopes to increase their return. In addition to the testing and evaluation of new products, Beck’s PFR team provides these yield and return on investment (ROI) results to farmers at no cost through their annual PFR Book.
At the close of the 2016 season, Beck’s PFR team collected their third year of yield data on residue management products, Robust® and Res Plus, which are shown below.
The data from 2016 showed an average yield increase of 5.5 Bu./A. with the use of Robust®. Over three years, this product averaged a yield increase of 6.0 Bu./A. Res Plus was tested for the fourth year in 2016 and showed an average yield increase of 4.5 Bu./A., resulting in an overall average yield increase of 8.7 Bu./A. Because both of these residue management products fulfilled the requirement of having a minimum of three years of data indicating a positive yield increase and an average increase in ROI, both Robust and Res Plus were given the PFR Proven™* stamp at the end of 2016.
In addition to studying residue management products, Beck’s PFR has also evaluated equipment strategies for managing residue. Treatments in these equipment studies have included NDY Stalk Stompers, the Yetter Stalk Devastator™, and Cappello® Quasar Corn Head, which are shown below.
The image above shows a sample of the residue taken from a 1 sq. ft. section of each treatment at Beck’s Central IL PFR site during the 2016 season, which shows the difference in residue breakdown from the different equipment. The Capello® Quasar Corn Head showed the greatest residue breakdown across all treatments and had the highest yield increase when compared to the other residue management equipment options. Two-year data has shown an average yield increase of 23.6 Bu./A. with the Capello Quasar Corn Head when compared to the NDY Stalk Stompers in a no-till, corn after corn scenario.
The smaller, more fractured residue is broken down quicker by soil microbes, allowing nutrients to return to the soil sooner. It can also lead to earlier increases in soil temperatures for planting, and less moisture retention during a wet spring compared to areas with greater residue. While residue management can be a trying issue in a Midwestern fall and spring, Beck’s PFR aims to test products and practices to determine what can make the most money on your acres.
Be sure to check back this winter to see the results of this study in the 2017 PFR Book! You can view and search for studies in the 2016 PFR Book by clicking here.
*PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practice has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area.
Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are registered trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. Robust® is a registered trademark of Midtech R&D, Inc. Yetter Stalk Devastator™ is a trademark of Yetter Manufacturing, Inc. Cappello® is a registered trademark of Capello USA.