Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2009
Publication Date: 2/1/2010
Citation: Karlen, D.L., Dinnes, D.L., Singer, J.W. 2010. Midwest soil and water conservation: Past, present and future. In: Zobeck, T.M., Schillinger, W.F., editors. Soil and Water Conservation Advances in the U.S.: Past Efforts and Future Outlook. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America, Inc. p. 131-162.
Technical Abstract: Soil and water conservation was, is, and will continue to provide the foundation for sustainable resource management in the U.S. Corn and Soybean Belt. This chapter briefly reviews the natural resource foundation, settlement patterns, and development of conservation programs in the U.S. Midwest. The condition of soil and water resources and effects of land tenure, artificial drainage, cropping systems, animal production systems, and mechanization between settlement and 1945 provide the reference condition for present and future comparisons. Changes in hydrology, crop sequences, yields, livestock, land tenure, and environmental consequences from 1945 to the present are examined and compared to the reference situation. Future effects of biofuel feedstock production, climate change, and implementation of a landscape vision to direct conservation policy are then outlined as part of our vision for the future.