Results from Year One of Idaho Strip-Tillage Study
By Amber Moore, Don Morishita & Oliver Neher*
The introduction of strip tillage to sugarbeet production in southern Idaho has brought challenges as well as opportunities to local beet growers. One challenge is accounting for chaff (residue) trails left behind by combines. These trails create uneven distribution of residue throughout the field, which can be a challenge for ensuing crop production with strip tillage.
Specifically, growers are concerned that the areas with little residue will be droughty and more susceptible to weed growth, while areas with heavy residue coverage may have more fertilizer and herbicide binding in the residue — and more soil-borne disease pressure under a cooler, more-moist and higher-carbon soil environment.
Don Lilleboe is editor of 'The Sugarbeet Grower' and 'Gilmore Sugar Manual.'