By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.
Soil erosion is an annual problem throughout the Eastern Corn Belt. Recent research estimates that farmland across the Corn Belt loses close to four tons of soil per acre each year due to erosion. In addition, even under the best conditions topsoil buildup is very slow, if it occurs at all. Soil particles can be detached and moved out of a field by both wind and water. Wind can pick up small soil particles, transporting them long distances. Water moving along the ground surface can remove a thin sheet of soil, create small channels, or wash out large gullies.
Factors that contribute to erosion
|1.||Rainfall — soil erosion increases as length or intensity of rainfall increases|
|2.||Slope length/grade — soil erosion is worse on longer/steeper slopes because water moves faster across the soil|
|3.||Vegetation/residue — growing plants and residue protect the soil from rain impact, slow down flowing water and increase infiltration of water into the soil, as well as protecting the soil from wind erosion.|