Crop residues consist of dead plant parts, or stover, that remain from previous crops, including green manure cover crops, and may be supplemented with dried weeds or other imported plant material.
Soil cover is one of the most critical factors in ensuring the success of conservation agriculture (CA). In conventional agricultural systems, residues are usually fed to animals, taken off the field for other uses, incorporated or burned. In many places communal grazing rights are observed, and protecting the residues on the fields from free roaming animals can entail considerable conflicts. However, farmers managing CA systems derive huge benefits from surface residue retention, which makes keeping them on the fields very worthwhile, and some communities have found ways to overcome the problems of communal grazing rights.
The role and importance of residues. 2015-04-21. Thierfelder, C.; Wall, P.C.. : 2 p.. Harare (Zimbabwe). CIMMYT. Series: Technical bulletin