There’s nothing quite like demo plots — where else will you find head to head comparisons of one variety or practice compared against its neighbour? The trouble with plots, though, is that you only usually see them once and then have to wait for data months later to find out what the real difference was between the two treatments or practices. Enter time lapse videography — no, it won’t work for all comparisons, but if you want to see the impacts of different tillage practices on residue management over time, time lapse is the way to go.

We’re lucky then to have Salford share its time lapse video of corn stalk residue from Rodney, Ont. In this segment of In the Dirt, Jim Boak, of Salford, shows us what a fall to spring video of corn processed residue looks like, the reason for the differences between the two treatments (in this case, vertical tillage with stalk processing), the impact on wind or water erosion, and, finally, the potential impact on yield.

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2 thoughts on “In the Dirt: A Time Lapse Look at the Impact of Tillage on Corn Residue

  1. Nice video. I’m a little skeptical about the time lapse. It seems like the snow trapping might have been reduced with the vertical tillage since there are fewer tall standing stalks. Could that account for the more rapid snow disappearance or are we really certain that is is due to increased heat from “biological activity”?

    1. Hi Earl,
      I set up and monitored the time lapse. I’m a layman in biology and agronomy and I can’t say with certainty what caused the snow to melt faster on the tillage side vs the no-till side. I can say with certainty, having been at the site frequently and from studying the 600+ pictures the camera has recorded between late Nov 2013 and early March 2014, that this was primarily due to melting and not blowing snow. The time lapse shot is a good representation of what happened all across that field, with show staying longer in between the rows on the no-till side and melting much faster on the True VT side of the field. The results were similar at our Nebraska site, however not as dramatic as what we saw in Ontario.

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