Estimating Residue Using the Line-Transect Method

SKU A3533

Author(s) Nyle C. Wollenhaupt, John Pingry.

Soil erosion can be substantially reduced, and in some fields controlled, by keeping the land surface partially covered with crop residue. As little as a 30% ground cover (measured immediately after planting) can reduce erosion by 50%. Many Wisconsin farmers have chosen conservation tillage (30% or more ground cover) as part of their conservation compliance plan. To implement and check conservation plans, producers, consultants and agency professionals need to use reliable residue measurement techniques. Residue can be measured using a variety of methods including photographic, meter stick, and line-transect. The line transect method has emerged as the preferred method for field use. This publication will tell you more about this method and how to use it on your farm (2 pages; Reprinted in 1991).