|JOHNSON, J - MAFES
|POGUE, D - MAFES
Submitted to: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Technical Bulletin
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The Brown Loam soils in Mississippi represent some of the most erodible soils in the world. Research to allow farming without excessive soil erosion was initiated in 1956 at Holly Springs in cooperation with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES). Progress at the North Mississippi Branch Experiment Station from 1956 to 1996 is reviewed to show the valuable contributions made toward the development of conservation tillage systems for corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat, and grain sorghum. During the 1960's, terraces, contoured graded rows, and improved cropping practices provided erosion control benefits, but more effective erosion control practices were needed on these highly erodible soils because of high rainfall amounts and intensities. The studies also contributed to refinement and improvement of the universal soil loss equation (USLE), the revised universal equation (RUSLE), and the water erosion prediction project model (WEPP). The review includes research on rainfall characteristics and amounts, which have helped to improve the soil loss prediction equations for the midsouth. Conservation tillage research at Holly Springs has enabled conservationists to help farmers nationwide to used their land productively and profitably. The effectiveness of these conservation tillage systems to reduce erosion have benefitted farmers greatly.
Technical Abstract: The Brown Loam soils of northern Mississippi, representative of the loessial soils of the southeastern United States, are highly erodible. A summary of cooperative USDA and MAFES research (58 research articles during 1956 - 1996) at Holly Springs showed beneficial erosion control effects from conservation tillage and provided information about sediment characteristics, rainfall erosivity, agricultural chemical runoff, equipment design, and other miscellaneous topics. Research on rainfall characteristics and amounts helped to improve raindrop size and energy relationships and to quantify the erosiveness of rainfall in the midsouth. Terraces, contoured graded rows, and improved cropping practices provided erosion control benefits, but more effective erosion control practices were needed on these highly erodible soils because of high rainfall amounts and intensities. No-till and reduced-till cropping systems dramatically reduced erosion on soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, and cotton as compared to conventional-till. Data from these studies have been and currently are being used to validate the universal soil loss equation, the revised universal soil loss equation, and the water erosion prediction project model. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) can use the improved equations to help farmers choose soil conservation cropping practices that comply with legal restrictions on cropland soil losses.