Wind Erosion Continues As recently as the spring of 1996 wind erosion severely damaged ag land throughout the Great Plains. On Cropland, about 172 million acres are eroded by wind and water at twice the soil loss tolerance rate. Wind erosion is about 40% of this loss, and can increase markedly in drought years.
Wind Erosion, the Problem Wind erosion is the dominate problem on about 74 million acres and moderately severe on 5 million acres. NRI data shows a 0.8 of a ton/ac improvement from 1982 to 1994 mostly from CRP.
Wind Takes the Best Wind erosion removes the lighter, less dense soil constituents such as OM, clays, and silts. It has been estimated that it causes annual yield reductions of 339,000 bu of Wheat and 543,000 bu of sorghum on 1.2 million acres of sandy soil in SW KS. Somewhat masked by technology. It damages seedlings.
Wind Erosion Gets in the Air Suspension becomes part of the atmospheric dust load. It can cause health issues as PM-10 and PM 2.5. NM has a non-attainment over Las Cruces. It routinely causes Interstate 10 to be closed, hopefully before someone is killed. Some states use EQIP to reduce sediment load in borrow ditches and on roads.
KS Rainfall 1895-2002 Dry Years and high erosion Dry Years and high eroson
Major Things that Effect Wind Erosion Crop Rotation, high residue crops vs low residue row crops. Alfalfa system erode less. Tillage practices, Heavy tillage like plows vs No-till or non-inversion tillage like sweeps. Surface Roughness, Ridging and Clodiness reduce erosion and trap moving soil particles. Cover Crops, Used for cover when low residue crops are grown. Amount of Grazing, Eastern NM systems have heavy grazing in them. Annual Rainfall, dry cropland will blow on dry years, even with good mgt. Timing of tillage, Land heavy tilled soon after harvest will erode more that delaying tillage closer to seeding time. Irrigation, wet soil blows less.
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