Wind erosion control
Many conservation practices can be implemented to control wind erosion of soil. This information is provided by the USDA Engineering and Wind Erosion Researc. You can lower the chances of wind erosion by keeping vegetation cover (such as trees, crop residues and pasture) above 50% and disturbing the soil as little as possible.
Soil loss via wind erosion cuts your profits and reduces productivity by removing a non-renewable crop production resource. Erosion is very costly because the nutrients it removes must be replaced. Plus, it reduces the depth of productive soil, lowering the water-holding capacity. Soil is a non-renewable resource and cannot be built within our lifetime. While erosion is a natural process, cultivation of the prairie and the dominance of annual crops have significantly sped up soil loss.
Some estimate that as much as 19 inches of topsoil has been eroded from agricultural fields. What does chapter 13 dismissed mean severely diminishes your soil productivity. In Minnesota, the average wind erosion rate is 5. North Dakota is slightly lower at 4. While these levels have decreased in the past three decades, wind erosion is still occurring at detrimental rates Figure 2.
The most severe areas of erosion are well above the general estimates of 5 tons per acre per year. To put it into context, 5 tons of soil across an acre of land is equal to the thickness of a dime. Plus, because continual soil loss affects the whole field, there's no way for producers or researchers to assess eroded vs. Certain areas of the United States are vulnerable to wind erosion.
This is due to a combination of factors. Wind can pick up speed and intensity along flat landscapes. Western Minnesota and the eastern half of the Dakotas are very level, with little change in topography, and few trees over a wide region. Tillage increases and accelerates the breaking apart of soil aggregates into individual soil particles. Individual soil how to get imovie for free on mac are lighter and more easily transported by wind than those that are aggregated.
Provide a physical barrier on the soil surface to protect against wind erosion. The more cover, the better the protection. Standing residue is more effective at slowing the wind than chopped residue. Inone third of Minnesota cropland was aggressively tilled, leaving 85 percent of the soil predisposed to erosion. Short-season or rowed crops offer little soil protection until the crop has canopied. After fall tillage, a majority of the eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota fields are left unprotected for six to nine months of the year.
A perennial crop offers a dense mat and increased residue cover to protect the soil. In row-crop systems, including a cover crop in the rotation offers a longer period of soil protection and other benefits Figure what does a ringworm scar look like. Carbonates are natural in many of the soils in western Minnesota and in the Red River Valley. Carbonate minerals separate particles from one another, making the soils particularly vulnerable to wind erosion.
Clay is the dominant soil texture in the Red River Valley. The most productive soil, called topsoil, is near the surface. The loss of topsoil leads to less healthy and less fertile soil, resulting in lower yields and more commercial fertilizer needed to make up the loss. Soil samples were collected in six field ditches across western Minnesota to understand how much soil was being deposited in ditches.
Analysis shows a range in accumulation of 2. Blowing soil can also slice through young emerging plants, which forces producers to decide whether to replant. The immediate health hazard is the suspension and movement of very small particles in the air, which have been linked to increased asthma and other lung ailments in humans.
Soil particles deposited in surface water contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which cause algal blooms in lakes, rivers and bays. When algae die, they decompose and remove oxygen how to prevent wind erosion the water hypoxia and cause fish deaths. Ditches filled with eroded topsoil restrict field drainage and can lower crop yields from higher water tables and increase soluble salts in fields.
Dredging streams to ease this problem is costly and wreaks havoc on aquatic plant and animal communities. Keep your soil covered and reduce the wind speed to prevent wind from removing your valuable topsoil. Reduce the number of tillage passes and intensity. Leaving residue on the soil surface protects the soil from blowing away. You can virtually eliminate erosion on most fields with sufficient residue levels Figures 8 and 9. Add a cover crop after a short-season crop. This is an excellent way to protect the soil through the winter and early spring months.
Ryegrass is fairly inexpensive, easy to grow and provides excellent coverage from wind and water erosion. Leave residue standing. This is an effective way to slow down wind speed. For example, raise the cutting height for small grains. Also, if chopping residue, leave alternating strips of un-chopped stalks. Plant vegetative buffer strips in erosive areas to trap sediment and slow wind speeds.
Use living windbreaks or shelterbelts, which are rows of trees and shrubs that effectively slow the wind. When taking out an old windbreak or farm site, plant a new windbreak elsewhere in the field. There are government programs available to assist with establishment costs and rental payments for these conservation practices.
How to prevent wind erosion erosion fact sheet. Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. National resources inventory summary report. World DataBank. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Home Crop production Soil and water Soil management and health Reduce wind erosion for long-term profitability.
What you need to know Leave residue standing to protect the soil surface. Reduce tillage to improve soil aggregation. Use cover crops and perennial crops. Maintain shelter belts to reduce wind speeds. About wind erosion. Open all Close all. Wind erosion in Minnesota In Minnesota, the average wind erosion rate is 5.
Key factors for wind erosion Certain areas of the United States are vulnerable to wind erosion. Relatively flat topography Wind can pick up speed and intensity along flat landscapes. Tillage depth and intensity Tillage increases and accelerates the breaking apart of soil aggregates into individual soil particles. Residue and vegetative cover Provide a physical barrier on the soil surface to protect against wind erosion.
Crop selection Short-season or rowed crops offer little soil protection until the crop has canopied. Carbonates at the surface Carbonates are natural in many of the soils in western Minnesota and in the Red River Valley.
Impact of wind erosion The most productive soil, called topsoil, is near the surface. Soil fertility Soil samples were collected in six field ditches across western Minnesota to understand what channel do the pittsburgh steelers play on today much soil was being deposited in ditches. Soil Total nitrogen Total phosphorus Total potassium Ditch 1 2.
Crop damage. Environmental concerns The immediate health hazard is the suspension and movement of very small particles in the air, which have been linked to increased asthma and other lung ailments in humans.
How to reduce wind erosion Keep your soil covered and reduce the wind speed to prevent wind from removing your valuable topsoil.
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Reducing Wind Erosion
When learning how to stop erosion on a hill, the simplest solution is to use plants. With the right choice of plantings, you can reduce runoff significantly. Cover crops are extremely effective in: Protecting from wind and water erosion.
Wind erosion is a natural process where the soil is moved, carried, and transported by the force of the wind from one place to another. In order to be transported, the threshold velocity of the wind is needed. However, this depends on the size, weight, and wetness of the soil particles. Soils are composed of different-sized particles: silt, clay, and sand. In order to be moved by the wind, each soil must need to be less than 1mm. The size of the silt particle ranges from 0.
The clay which has the least size, however, makes itself hard to be carried by the wind because of its ability to clump together with other particles. This makes the silt and sand be more susceptible to wind erosion. In order for erosion to occur, a wind velocity must be 20 to 30 kilometers per hour.
When threshold velocity is met, the particles are moved to the other place at a different height and transported at different distances. There are three ways at which the particles are being moved: suspension , saltation , and surface creep. The suspension is the most identifiable movement of soil.
It involves the fine dust particles, clay, or silt that are thrown into the atmosphere and may take days before being deposited. This kind of movement causes the soil particles to be transported to very long distances. In a saltation process, sand-sized particles are carried by the wind by skipping and bouncing with great velocity while bumping to the ground and each other.
Its horizontal velocity is four times than vertical velocity causing it to be more damaging compared to other movements. On the other hand, surface creep as the name suggests involves the rolling and creeping of the soil particles on the surface.
Particles are too heavy to be lifted by the wind thus they stay on the ground. Though, wind erosion can be damaging especially to vegetation. The soil which is enriched with nutrients and microorganism will be carried away affecting the rich soils. Aside from that, following erosion is the process of deposition which affects not only vegetation but also landforms.
People are using strategies to prevent such actions. According to this , A sand dune is a mount, hill or ridge of sand that lies behind the part of the beach affected by tides. They are formed over many years when windblown sand is trapped by beach grass or other stationary objects. Dune grasses anchor the dunes with their roots, holding them temporarily in place, while their leaves trap sand promoting dune expansion.
Without vegetation, wind and waves regularly change the form and location of dunes. Dunes are not permanent structures. According to Wikipedia , A rock formation is an isolated, scenic, or spectacular surface rock outcrop.
Rock formations are usually the result of weathering and erosion sculpting the existing rock. These formations were created by wind erosion as the force of moving air swept through the terrain, wearing away the native rocks. After the wind erosion, the process of wind deposition occurs. Wind deposition is the geological process wherein soil particles or sediments are deposited and added to the mass of landforms.
Deposition occurs when the wind force is no longer sufficient to further transport the particles due to several factors such as gravity, friction, or topographical obstacles rocks, vegetation, and human-made Structures that make the velocity of the wind to drop. As the velocity of the wind slows down, the heaviest particles are deposited first. There are ways at which sediments are deposited.
When the wind deposits sand particles, it creates a hill of sand called the sand dunes. Sand dunes are mainly found in the desert and sometimes on beaches. However, when the wind deposits fine silts and clay particles, a deposit called loess is formed.
Unlike the hilly sand dune, loess forms vertical cliffs that eventually become thick and rich soil. This type of deposit is used for farming and agriculture in many parts of the world.
The types of deposits thus form according to the size of the particles deposited by the wind. Wind erosion and deposition have been creating a massive impact on land production.
The loss of soil nutrients and the covering of the land with many deposits decrease the ability of the soil to properly produce drops. Since wind deposition follows the event of wind erosion, it is important to learn some ways to prevent wind erosion.
There are many ways and practices that are applied in order to either control wind erosion or make the soil highly resistant to it. The surface and crop residues are important to lessen the effect of the wind on the surface of the ground.
They protect the removal of soil particles and maintain the nutrients of the soil. When the residues are placed at a right angle where it is perpendicular to the existing wind, it reduces the wind erosion compared to a parallel position.
Flattened residues do conserve the soil however growing vertical residues makes double protection. After the harvest, and the soil is uncultivated, spreading straws, chaff, and any harvest residues is highly recommended. Others may include grass barriers, strips, and windbreakers. Another effective control of wind erosion is by growing permanent vegetation cover. This involves growing grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees, or legumes to erosion-prone areas.
This practice is applicable especially to regions where conservation of soil is challenged. Its importance is considered in conserving not only soil but water, and air resources. However, dependence on vegetation cover should not result in the removal or burning of the surface residues without a thorough understanding of the consequences of erosion control consequences. Permanent vegetation cover can be practiced through pasture and hay planting, conservation cover, and critical area planting.
When vegetation is not enough to control wind erosion, establishing stable aggregates helps to reduce the wind velocity. It is believed to be the only means to control wind erosion in large areas.
Three ways are practiced for surface roughening: soil crusts, crosswind ridge, and clod-forming tillage. The soil crusts increase the potential of the soil to resist the wind force, however, it may not be effective in controlling erosion relies upon it. However, the formation of crosswinds is achieved by tilling perpendicular to the prevailing wind. The tilling creates ridges and depressions that help alter the direction of the wind and stop the eroding of soil particles downwind.
This technique however has limited control of erosion, especially during unseasonal wind activity. On the other hand, the clod-forming tillage is enough to reduce the wind force and stop the moving particles.
Its duration is dependent on the resistance of the clod against the graze of the wind and the wind direction. The larger the clod, the more stable it is to control the wind force and trap the eroding soil particles. Since the force of the wind increases as the surface gets hilly, so does the increase of the erosion.
Reshaping the land by leveling the surface and shortening the empty is one way to lessen the potential of erosion. However, this technique may not be viable due to its costly system. It is one of the best ways to lessen the erosion of soil since the wind force finds it difficult to carry the soil particles on a wet surface.
In a similar way, the wet surface retains the crop residues. However, this technique is normally impractical as the surface dries quickly and large irrigation may also affect the soil structure and lose the particles.
Nevertheless, the greater damaging effect of the wind erosion would make irrigation as a practical solution to sufficient moisture the land. Sonia Madaan is a writer and founding editor of science education blog EarthEclipse.
Her passion for science education drove her to start EarthEclipse with the sole objective of finding and sharing fun and interesting science facts. She loves writing on topics related to space, environment, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. When she is not writing, she loves watching sci-fi movies on Netflix. What is Wind Erosion?