When an erodable
slope is seeded to grasses or legumes, a light mulch is needed to keep soil and seeds from washing away.
In the 1970s, farmers plowed and fertilized highly erodable
lands to lock in the most acres at the best rate possible, and by 1982, 103.5 million such "marginal" acres were under cultivation nationwide.
Therefore, when uncultivated soils are converted to agriculture, coarse aggregates will breakdown to fine and easily erodable
aggregates, increasing the probability that organic C and N will be eroded by wind.
Areas best suited to these protection methods include any surface that has been disturbed, but particularly disturbed areas with slopes greater than 2% (2 feet of fall in 100 feet of horizontal distance) and highly erodable
For instance, growers are asked to submit and execute soil erosion-control plans for certain highly erodable
Caraco, 2001, "Human Impact on Erodable
Phosphorus and Eutrophication: A Global Perspective," BioScience 51:227-234
Increasing global reforestation between now and the year 2000 by an area nearly twice the size of Texas could not only return the world's supply of wood for fuel and industry to a sustainable level, but also help stabilize watersheds and highly erodable
, wind-prone areas, according to Sandra Postel and Lori Heise of the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute.
Accepted mechanical techniques that are known to reverse site degradation are not applicable on the study site for two reasons: first, the soils are sodic haplocambids which are highly erodable
; second, many land management agencies are unable to disturb the soil surface without a cost prohibitive archeological survey.
Erosion can be addressed at the perimeter of the site, over surfaces of highly erodable
areas, and along channels that carry runoff.
* Severe erodability occurs on slopes over 12 percent, or areas that experience teaches are quite erodable
. Soil that is easily eroded, due to a variety of factors.
Therefore, to help sustain soil quality benefits obtained by enrolling highly erodable
land into the CRP, no-till or very reduced tillage practices should be considered if the land is returned to row-crop production.