Arguably one of the most valuable inputs for the success of next year’s crop is what’s left in the field right after harvest. When crop residue is recycled correctly and decomposed, it will supply significant fertilizer value that can have an impact on nutrient needs in the coming spring. However, when residue is ignored, it can lead to some major setbacks for the following season, including nutrients becoming tied up, and an increase in insect and disease pressure that can ultimately lead to stunted plant development, and lower yields.
Leftover crop residue is an ideal habitat for insects and potential diseases to hide throughout the winter and create problems at the first sign of spring. IgniteS2® works by stimulating an explosion of microbial life in the soil, which in turn, will significantly speed up the decomposition rate of the crop residue, leaving nowhere for insects and pathogens to hide during the colder months and allowing soils to warm up faster in the spring.
Along with improving the decomposition rate of this year’s crop stubble, IgniteS2® will break down insoluble nutrients and put them to work for next spring’s crop. It will build humus levels, contribute to better water filtration, and has proven the ability to clean up any leftover chemical residues and their yield diminishing effects. Studies have shown that the equivalent of 80% of applied Nitrogen on corn typically remains immobilized in crop residues and will transpire into the atmosphere if not properly broken down. This is an untapped source of high-quality plant nutrition just waiting to be used! Can you afford to lose 80% of fertilizer that you have already paid for?
How to Manage Residue for Profit
- The first step that should be taken is to shatter or at least crimp the stalk with the combine. Shattering stalks and spreading them evenly with your combine helps jumpstart the biological process during mild early fall temperatures and will continue breaking down until the soil is frozen.
- Apply 16-32 oz/acre of IgniteS2® as soon as possible after harvest to speed stalk digestion. Soil organisms will first consume sugars and amino acids in the stalk, and then move to starches, proteins, and cellulose.
- Mix residue into the aerobic zone of the soil. If you have a no-till environment, make sure to shred residue and spread evenly over the soil with 16-32oz/acre of IgniteS2® Under no-till circumstances, fungi typically do more of the digestive work. One visible clue to active biological breakdown is the webs of actinomycetes colonizing the residue.
Benefits of IgniteS2® On Crop Residue:
- Will significantly speed up the decomposition of crop residue
- Supply tremendous fertilizer value for the following crop
- Builds humus and organic matter
- Will build the aerobic zone
- Cleans up chemical residues and diminishes their negative effects
- Reduces disease and insect pressure in the spring