Integrated Crop Management News

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Crop residue serves an important role in physically protecting soil from erosion during rain events or high winds, as well as enhancing the soil biological activity by providing sources of organic carbon and nitrogen for its energy needs. In order to understand how residue decomposes, we need to understand how the degradation processes are influenced by environmental and soil conditions; namely, air and soil temperatures, soil moisture availability, soil pH, oxygen, and type of microbial community. The composition of crop residue includes lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and macro and micronutrients. Certain biological and enzymatic processes, controlled by a wide range of microorganisms and influenced by other factors, must occur in order to release most of these organic forms.

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Iowa State University



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