The effects of crop residue management on zero till crop production in Manitoba

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Rourke, David Ronald Sparks.
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The influence of three straw management practices on the emergence, vegetative growth and grain yield of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Sinton) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L. cv. Tower) grown under zero tillage and conventional tillage was studied over a two year period. The three straw management practices tested were burning, raking and spreading. The study was conducted on a well drained sandy loam soil as well as on a poorly drained clay soil. The study indicated that emergence of wheat and to a lesser extent, rapeseed emergence could be reduced under zero tillage when straw was spread. The method of straw management had little effect on crop emergence on conventional tilled soils. Wheat yields were found to be similar under both zero tillage and conventional tillage. However, rapeseed yielded considerably higher when grown under zero tillage as compared to conventional tillage. The method of straw management was more important for zero tillage than for conventional tillage and was more important on clay soils than for sandy loam soils.