Timely manure incorporation can reduce nutrient losses to the atmosphere and surface runoff. Keeping valuable nutrients, like nitrogen, in the soil can help reduce the purchase of expensive commercial fertilizers. Reduced tillage corn is becoming more common as growers recognize the benefits to soil health and water quality. Some options to implement reduced tillage include no-tillage and vertical-tillage. No-tillage planting uses metal coulters to cut a slot for the seed, rather than tilling the soil. Vertical-tillage lightly tills the top 2-3” of the soil, as the implement is pulled quickly across a field to produce a uniform seedbed without deep tillage.

Little research has been done in the region to assess the combined effects of manure application and reduced tillage practices on silage corn yields and quality. With the increased regional availability of innovative equipment such as manure injectors, aerators, strip tillers, and no-till planters, the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program designed a trial in 2016 to evaluate both manure incorporation and reduced tillage corn planting techniques on corn yield and quality.


Vermont, University of Vermont

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