Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Wind and water erosion are serious problems affecting soil quality and sustainable agriculture across the U.S. Proper management of crop residues crop planting date are very effective for preventing soil erosion. Guidelines are provided for residue management for erosion control and predictive capabilities are described so that adequate residue cover can be eleft to protect the soil during critical periods. The use of spring seedin would also greately decrease erosion potential if government programs were restructured to encourage this practice.
Technical Abstract: The cropping system factors that will influence crop residue persistence and residue efficacy for soil erosion protection include: no-till versus reduced tillage, fall seeding versus spring seeding, prediction of residue longevity and groundcover, and utilization of approaches such as low-input composting. These approaches also offer the potential for improving soil quality. No-till seeding alleviates wind and water erosion in many cases. However, when crop residues are limiting, minimum tillage seeding that utilizes cloddiness for erosion protection may be more effective. Continuous spring seeding in lieu of fall seeding is an excellent method for combatting wind and water erosion and for weed control. Current government programs discourage this practice. An excellent tool RESMAN has been developed for predicting residue persistence for erosion control. The model is widely used. Where heavy crop residues discourage successful conservation cropping systems, incorporation of an approach such as low- input, on-farm composting could be a valuable tool.