Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The approach to soil conservation planning in the U.S. is rapidly changing because recent advances in computer technology have made it possible for soil conservationists to use complex hydrologic and erosion models. One of the new models is the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP), a new generation runoff and erosion prediction technology developed by the USDA, ARS. WEPP is a process-oriented, continuous simulation model that predict erosion from a hillslope and small watershed. The WEPP Hillslope Model is expected to replace the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) technology as the basic tool used in soil conservation planning. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is an improved version of USLE; however, WEPP is expected to be a better tool than RUSLE (or USLE) for conservation planning, project planning, and resource inventory and assessment. Although WEPP has an advantage over RUSLE in terms of increased functionality, the model must improve the accuracy of annual soil loss prediction compared to RUSLE or USLE to be successful. The objective of this research was to compare and evaluate differences in soil loss predictions from the WEPP, RUSLE, and USLE models. Soil loss data collected from 7 cropping and tillage treatments over a 12-yr period (1983-1994) from 3.2-m wide by 27.4-m long natural rainfall erosion plots on a silt loam soil (Udollic Ochraqualf) were used in the analysis. The treatments were continuous corn and soybean cropping systems under conventional, chisel, and no-till methods and continuous cultivated fallow.