Document Type


Publication Date



nutrient loss, crop residue, fire, fall harvests

Extension Number

ExEx 8164


Plant Science


In spring and during some fall harvests, there can be accidental fires that burn the crop residue from a field or from part of a field. Although corn residue is most suscep¬tible to accidental burning, wheat residue is also vulnerable, and to a lesser extent so is soybean residue. Dry, windy conditions, along with large amounts of residue, provide the conditions for an outbreak of accidental burns. After the fire, the main concern is what was lost in nutrient value, or “What went up in smoke”? This publication discusses nutrient loss from a residue burn, average nutrient levels in residue, how to calculate nutrient economic loss, and other considerations.