Monday, December 1, 2014
Is Your Farm Eroding Excessively?
Kansas State University is developing protocols for Identifying Erosion Vulnerability Using Aerial Imagery and Terrain Maps. I agree that their methodology is one way to look at erosion. My 37 years of experience as a soil conservation professional tells me that if you can see where soil has moved, then you have a problem. You can look for sheet movement, small rills, gullies, and areas of deposition. Yes the soil in those depositional areas had to come from somewhere. A soil conservation professional can use the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to evaluate the extent of the erosion. The computer model for calculating soil loss is called RUSLE2. Certainly aereal photography and topographic maps can help in determining the acreage that is subject to excessive erosion. That is just the beginning of developing solutions. Revising tillage operations, using cover crops, and including hay and grass in your rotation may be appropriate to your operation. A conservation professional can help you with your decisions. Your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office is the place to start looking for help. You can also seek out a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control.