The increased interest in harvesting crop byproducts has Halbach concerned. “The way to good soil structure is returning organic matter to the soil. That’s difficult to accomplish if we are harvesting everything,” he says. “We may not see the damage immediately, but we can’t think about soil structure in a two- to three-year window. We need to think about the next 10 years or more.”

His advice is simple: Improve soil structure by incorporating residue back into the soil.

And one source is manure. “It helps feed soil organisms and can provide an excellent boost to a soil’s structure,” Halbach says.