Soybean School

What’s the Right Amount of Tillage for Soybean Residue?

Can deep-tilling soybean residue be justified? A researcher from the University of Manitoba is looking at whether tillage practices need to change as farmers in Western Canada grow more soybeans. Despite leaving less plant matter behind than most crops, it’s not uncommon to see soybean ground cultivated to leave a dark surface that warms up and dries out sooner in spring.

Is this tillage necessary? That’s what Greg Bartley, a grad student working with Dr. Yvonne Lawley in the U of M’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, is trying to determine.

As Bartley explains in this Soybean School West episode, he’s comparing four soil treatments: no-till, pure vertical till (with discs at 0 degrees), aggressive vertical till (discs positioned at an angle) and deep-till. The Manitoba Pulse Growers-funded study will conclude next fall with a comparison of yields from corn and wheat planted into these different tillage options.