Preserving Stubble Effectively
Keep Your Options Open When Preserving Stubble During Seeding
Standing Stubble Protects Seedlings
Producers in dryer grain-growing regions have long known the benefits of preserving the previous season’s stubble. The preservation of the roots will help anchor the soil to serve as protection from erosion. The standing stubble itself will act as a snow trap, maximizing moisture retention for spring. The stubble will also form a shield from the drying winds and parching sun that robs the soil from existing moisture. The micro-climate which exists within the stubble nurtures the seedling in it’s earliest stages of growth.
The Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre in Swift Current, SK conducted research between 1998 and 2002 to determine the benefits of stubble preservation to the following season’s crop. One of the main goals was to determine the benefits of seeding into standing stubble by studying canola seeded into stubble of various heights. The test was conducted with direct-seeding equipped using side-banding openers. (Seeding Management to Increase and Stabilize Canola Production in the Semiarid Prairie – February 2003)
The study noted that the height of the standing stubble (over 12 inches) had a significant effect on the micro-climate within the stubble. Wind speed was significantly reduced, soil temperature was less, and less sunlight reached the soil as compared to cultivated stubble. Averaged across the four years, the study found a significant increase in yield for seeding into tall stubble when compared to the crop seeded into a cultivated field.
Equipment Designed for the Job
One of the biggest challenges you face when one-pass seeding into tall stubble and managed residue is investing in a seeding system that will allow you to achieve this goal. It is critical for you to evaluate each of the different direct seeding tools and ensure you find the one that will provide you the greatest degree of flexibility for varying conditions.
Exceptional Residue Clearance
Competitors have moved to wider row spacings, deflector shields, and complex inter-stubble row features requiring expensive RTK subscriptions to reduce plugging. Bourgault coulter MRBs® cut field residue ahead of the seed openers, while narrow profile seed shanks minimize soil disturbance and maximize residue clearance. The result is exceptional seeding performance with excellent stubble preservation in a wide range of field conditions.
 
Select the Spacing You Need
The move towards wider row spacing increases the risk of fertilizer damage when direct seeding. Bourgault Seeding Systems with MRBs® provides proven performance on effective row spacings, allowing you the freedom to make the right choice of row spacing for your operation. In fact, over 95% of Bourgault Seeding Systems are sold on 10 inch spacing.
Seeding Direction – One or Many?
Seeding precisely between the stubble rows saves stubble, but is it efficient? What happens if you have residue between the stubble rows, you need to change your pattern, or you have lodged residue? A Bourgault Seeding System equipped with narrow profile seed knives or coulters, paired with MRBs® for nitrogen application will enable you to preserve existing stubble with the freedom to choose the seeding direction that works best for you.
Reduced Complexity
You don’t need to invest in additional tracking devices and expensive GPS subscriptions just to preserve stubble! The proven Bourgault Seeding System with MRBs® has allowed producers to maintain standing stubble in the widest range of seeding conditions for over 10 years.
Bourgault offers you a choice of seeding systems that works for your conditions, each one available with Mid Row Banders® so you can seed directly into managed residue, preserve standing stubble, and minimize the risk of fertilizer damage.
This article appears in the latest copy of the Bourgault Cutting Edge.
Download the Spring 2010 Cutting Edge - Canadian Edition or Spring 2010 Cutting Edge - American Edition for viewing in the PDF format.