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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating the surface irrigation soil loss (SISL) model

Authors
item Bjorneberg, David
item Prestwich, C - USDA-NRCS
item Evans, Robert

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2006
Publication Date: July 9, 2007
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/17621
Citation: Bjorneberg, D.L., Prestwich, C., Evans, R.G. 2007. Evaluating the surface irrigation soil loss (SISL) model. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 23(4):485-491.

Interpretive Summary: The Surface Irrigation Soil Loss Model (SISL) is a simple model for estimating soil loss from furrow irrigated fields. This model was developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Idaho based on 200 field-years of soil loss measurements from in southern Idaho. We evaluated the model by comparing model estimates with measured soil loss from six production fields near Kimberly, ID, and measured soil loss from a research plots at Kimberly, ID and Prosser, WA. The model predicted the relative effects of conservation tillage practices, straw mulching and surge irrigation reasonably well, however, the absolute differences between measured and predicted soil loss were sometimes large. The limited number of conservation practice factors included in SISL do not represent all types and frequencies of tillage operations that can occur in the field. Additional season-long furrow irrigation soil loss data are needed from other areas to better evaluate the SISL model and possibly modify it for use until a more processed-based surface irrigation erosion model is developed.

Technical Abstract: The SISL (surface irrigation soil loss) model was developed by the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1991 to estimate annual soil loss from furrow irrigated fields. This empirical model was based on over 200 field-years of data from southern Idaho. Idaho NRCS uses this model to assess benefits of conservation practices, such as converting from furrow to sprinkler irrigation, but this model has not been independently evaluated. Data collected in 2003 from six production fields near Kimberly, ID, along with previously published furrow irrigation erosion data from Kimberly, ID and Prosser, WA, were used to evaluate the SISL model. Predicted soil loss correlated reasonably well with measured soil loss for all three data set. The model predicted the relative effects of conservation tillage practices, straw mulching and surge irrigation reasonably well, however, the absolute differences between measured and predicted soil were sometimes large. Base soil loss did not adequately account for all situations that occurred in the field, such as excessive inflow rates or water applications. The limited number of conservation practice factors included in SISL do not represent all types and frequencies of tillage operations that can occur in the field. Additional season-long furrow irrigation soil loss data are needed from other areas to better evaluate the SISL model and possibly modify it for use until a more processed-based surface irrigation erosion model is developed.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014
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