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Remaining Residue Calculator- Glossary of Terms    

1. Residue Type - Residue is defined as fragile or non-fragile depending on rate of decomposition by weathering and reduction of residue cover by harvesting and tillage passes.

2. Fragile Residue - Crop residue that is generally damaged passing through the harvesting unit or through weathering. Crop stems are small in diameter; leaves are small in size and fall from the plant before harvest. Many fragile residues have a high nitrogen content that favors microbial breakdown. Examples of fragile residue include Canola, Cotton, Potatoes, Soybeans, and Sugar Beets.

3. Non-Fragile Residue - Crop residue that is individually large in size and durable to harvesting and weathering. The total mass of residues produced is great. Examples of non-fragile residue include Corn, Barley, Rice, Sugarcane, and Tobacco.

4. Starting Residue - Residue cover in a field prior to a tillage pass. Starting residue can be determined through the line-transect method, photo comparison method, or the calculation method.

5. Line-Transect Method - Method for estimating residue cover on the soil surface. A rope or tape measure with 100 equally spaced points is stretched diagonally across crop rows. Each point over a piece of residue is counted to obtain an estimate of residue cover.

6. Photo Comparison Method - Method to estimate residue by comparing residue cover to photographs of known residue cover.

7. Calculation Method - Method to estimate residue cover through multiplying starting residue by estimates of the percentage of cover following tillage passes.

8. Remaining Residue - Estimated residue cover after a tillage pass.

9. Overwintering Factor - Residue losses from the climatic effects of over-winter weathering. Residue losses are particularly dependent on precipitation and temperature. Winters and regions with long periods of snow cover and frozen conditions may have marginal reductions in residue cover. Winters and regions with warmer conditions and high precipitation may have significant losses in residue cover.

10. Tillage Pass - Any single tillage operation in the sequence of operations that manipulates the soil to produce a crop.

11. Primary Tillage - Tillage passes deeper than 6 inches depth. Generally done in high residue conditions with a moldboard plow, chisel plow, deep ripper, or primary disk. Primary tillage fractures and loosens soil and mixes residue into the soil.

12. Secondary Tillage - Tillage passes shallower than 6 inches performed with the intention of leveling soil, breaking clods, incorporating residue, or preparing a seedbed. Secondary tillage passes may or may not be preceded by a primary tillage pass.

13. Crop Care Tillage - Tillage passes following seed germination. Crop care tillage kills weeds, increases aeration, and improves water infiltration. Crop care tillage tools include row crop cultivators and rotary hoes.


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