2002 National Crop Residue Management Survey


Regional Synopses

The Midwest region contains 106 million acres of cropland, or about 37 percent of all cropland in the U.S. This same region contains 46 percent of all no-till acres. No-till soybeans are very popular, with over 17 million acres planted in 2002, which is 65 percent of all no-till soybeans in the country. Seven million acres of no-till corn were planted in the Midwest, or 47 percent of all no-till corn. Forty-five million acres, or 42.5 percent, of all cropland used conservation tillage in the Midwest in 2002.  In the last 10 years, no-till acres have grown 57 percent. No-till soybeans have grown 130 percent in this time period.

The East region contains 7.6 million acres of annually planted crops. Twenty-four percent of all crops were planted with no-till in 2002, and 12 percent were planted with mulch-till. Corn was the most popular crop used in a no-till system, with almost 800,000 acres planted. Almost 1 million fewer acres were planted in 2002 as compared to 1992.

Northern Plains
The Northern Plains has more than 84 million acres of cropland, 4 million more acres than a decade ago. No-till acres in this region have grown from 4.5 million acres in 1992 to 16 million acres in 2002 -- a 255 percent increase. No-till corn, the most popular no-till crop, covers 4.6 million acres. Forty-six percent of the ridge-till acres in the U.S. are located in the Northern Plains. In 2002, conservation tillage was used on 32.3 million acres, or 38.4 percent, of all acres in this region. In addition, there are nearly 14.5 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.

South Central
The South Central region has almost 39 million acres of annually planted cropland.. The most popular crops in this region are winter wheat (13.7 million acres), cotton (7.4 million acres) and soybeans (4.9 million acres). Texas, which alone accounts for 20.6 million acres, planted almost 5.7 million acres of cotton. In the South Central region, 2.3 million acres of no-till, 900,000 acres of ridge-till and 4.5 million acres of mulch-till were planted in 2002.


Among the Southeast region’s 24.6 million acres of annually planted crops, there were 6.7 million acres of soybeans, 4.8 million acres of corn and 5.2 million acres of cotton planted in 2002. Conservation tillage was used on 42.5 percent of all cropland. No-till was used to plant 36 percent of all crops in this region – a 94 percent increase in the past 10 years. More than 46 percent of the corn and 53 percent of soybeans were planted no-till. Acres of cotton planted in this region increased by 1.9 million acres in the last decade, and acres of no-till cotton increased by over 750 percent in the same period. Eighty-five percent of all no-till cotton in the U.S. is planted in this region.

The West region has 19.8 million acres of cropland. Winter wheat is the most popular crop, with 5.4 million acres planted in 2002. Vegetables and other crops were planted on 3.9 million acres. Mulch-till is the most popular form of conservation tillage in this region. Nearly 19 percent of cropland uses this type of tillage practice. Although no-till is only used on 4.5 percent of all cropland, that is a 157 percent increase in the past 10 years.