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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL RESOURCES AND AIR QUALITY AFFECTED BY WIND EROSION AND FUGITIVE DUST EMISSIONS: PROCESSES, SIMULATION AND CONTROL Title: Emergency wind erosion control

Authors
item Presley, Deann -
item Tatarko, John
item Brokesh, Ed -
item Tomlinson, Peter -

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: March 25, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: February through May is the critical time for wind erosion in Kansas, but wind erosion can happen any time when high winds occur on smooth, wide fields with low vegetation and poor soil structure. The most effective wind erosion control is to ensure a protective cover of residue or growing crop throughout the critical erosion period. It is important to monitor field conditions and identify fields with conditions susceptible to erosion. Kansas law addresses wind erosion control. If soil is blowing off any property in quantities large enough to cause erosion damage, damage on land downwind, or injury to the public health, soil blowing must be lessened or stopped. If wind erosion has started, it can be reduced by mulching with manure or other anchored plant materials such as straw or hay. Emergency tillage is a last resort that can be effec-tive if done promptly with the right equipment. The goal of emergency tillage is to make the soil surface rougher by producing resistant clods and surface ridges. Performing emergency, clod-forming tillage across the field is effective. Loose sandy soils require a different tillage approach to effectively control erosion. Erosion resistance is achieve through building ridges and furrows in the field to provide adequate protection. A narrow chisel (2 inches wide) on 24- to 54-inch spacings and oper¬ated at 3- to 6-inch depths usually bring sufficient resistant clods to the surface to control erosion on fine-textured soils (clayey soils). A medium, 4-inch wide shovel can be effective for medium-textured soils (loamy soils). It is often not necessary to till the entire field, but rather, it is effective to perform emergency tillage passes across 50 percent of the field (till a pass, skip a pass, repeat).

Technical Abstract: February through May is the critical time for wind erosion in Kansas, but wind erosion can happen any time when high winds occur on smooth, wide fields with low vegetation and poor soil structure. The most effective wind erosion control is to ensure a protective cover of residue or growing crop throughout the critical erosion period. It is important to monitor field conditions and identify fields with conditions susceptible to erosion. Kansas law addresses wind erosion control. If soil is blowing off any property in quantities large enough to cause erosion damage, damage on land downwind, or injury to the public health, soil blowing must be lessened or stopped. If wind erosion has started, it can be reduced by mulching with manure or other anchored plant materials such as straw or hay. Emergency tillage is a last resort that can be effec-tive if done promptly with the right equipment. The goal of emergency tillage is to make the soil surface rougher by producing resistant clods and surface ridges. Performing emergency, clod-forming tillage across the field is effective. Loose sandy soils require a different tillage approach to effectively control erosion. Erosion resistance is achieve through building ridges and furrows in the field to provide adequate protection. A narrow chisel (2 inches wide) on 24- to 54-inch spacings and oper¬ated at 3- to 6-inch depths usually bring sufficient resistant clods to the surface to control erosion on fine-textured soils (clayey soils). A medium, 4-inch wide shovel can be effective for medium-textured soils (loamy soils). It is often not necessary to till the entire field, but rather, it is effective to perform emergency tillage passes across 50 percent of the field (till a pass, skip a pass, repeat).

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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