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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: LANDSCAPE-BASED CROP MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD, FEED, AND BIOENERGY

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Evaluating the soil vulnerability index and conductivity claypan index for claypan soils in Missouri

Authors
item Chan, Robert -
item Baffaut, Claire
item Thompson, Allen -
item Sadler, Edward

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 2013
Publication Date: July 24, 2013
Citation: Chan, R., Baffaut, C., Thompson, A., Sadler, E.J. 2013. Evaluating the soil vulnerability index and conductivity claypan index for claypan soils in Missouri. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Paper No. 131620723.

Interpretive Summary: Targeting indices can be used by producers, land managers, or owners to decide where to implement management practices or, more generally, where careful management is required for sustainable crop production. Two indices for identifying areas most prone to erosion were compared in this study, including one index to be used nationally and one developed specifically for soils that have a restrictive layer. Factors affecting the critical areas identified by each index were assessed, and classified areas according to each index were compared. The index developed specifically for soils with a restrictive layer consistently identified more areas as being highly vulnerable. Knowledge of the watershed confirmed that some of these areas have conservation needs that should be addressed to ensure sustainable row crop production.

Technical Abstract: Targeting indices can be used by producers, land managers, or owners to improve effectiveness and efficiency of management practices. Two Indices for identifying areas most prone to erosion were compared in this study, including one index intended to be used nationally and one developed specifically for soils that have a restrictive layer. Indices were tested with two different slope sources so that 4 maps of classified areas were ultimately made. Factors affecting the critical areas identified by each index such as the variability of input parameters were assessed, and classified areas according to each index were compared to determine if they agreed or disagreed. The variables of slope and depth to claypan had the most variability and were found to be influential in determining how areas were classified in each index. When classifications between indices were compared there was a high amount of agreement, but some indices had a significant amount of disagreement for the highest risk, “critical” areas. The index developed specifically for soils with a restrictive layer consistently identified more areas as being critical. Knowledge of the watershed confirmed that some of these areas have conservation needs that should be addressed to ensure sustainable row crop production.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014