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Cover Crops and Corn Residue Removal: Impacts on Soil Hydraulic Properties and Their Relationships with Carbon

Crop residue management can affect soil water dynamics. The retention of plant residues on the soil surface helps conserve soil water, maintain soil fertility, and provide other ecosystem services. Evidence shows that increased rates of corn residue removal can detrimentally affect soil hydraulic properties but adding cover crops after residue removal could reduce those negative effects. Researchers suggested further research on performing residue harvest in alternate years to reduce the negative effects of removal, and the development of cover crop strategies to increase biomass and improve soil health.

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