If you are looking for top tips for preventing and managing soil erosion, here are a few good ideas: Planting a cover crop, avoiding compaction, and creating a diverse landscape. These practices can help you manage soil erosion more effectively, reduce your cost of remediation, and keep your landscape beautiful. In addition to these tips, there are several other helpful tips to help prevent erosion:
Planting a cover crop
Farmers in Central Illinois have been using cover crops to control soil erosion and prevent a significant environmental threat hundreds of miles away. Grain farmers use fertilizer, insecticides, and pesticides to produce crops. These chemicals are carried by water runoff into rivers and streams and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico, where excess nitrogen is causing a dead zone the size of New Jersey. Several scientists agree that biological solutions to soil erosion are the way to go.
Water and wind erosion occur despite natural vegetation, and it happens even on flat or hilly soil. Cover crops provide a natural buffer against water erosion by producing more vegetative biomass than volunteer plants. The vegetation also helps reduce runoff velocity and water infiltration. By increasing the biomass of cover crops, you increase the carrying capacity of the soil. Cover crops also protect the soil aggregates and reduce the risk of erosion caused by water runoff.
Another benefit of cover crops is that they help enhance agroecosystem productivity. Cover crops improve soil structure and prevent soil erosion while reducing nutrient and pesticide runoff. By increasing soil porosity, cover crops improve soil health and provide habitats for soil macrofauna.
Creating a diverse landscape
Soil texture is defined by the size and distribution of particles in a given area. Soils may be made up of various materials, including sand, clay, and silt, all of which affect erodibility. Sandy soils have large particles that easily detach from the surrounding soil and are susceptible to wind and water erosion. On the other hand, clay soils are composed of fine particles and resist erosion due to a tight structure. Clay soils can also accumulate water, drown vegetation and wash large pieces of soil away.
Soil erosion can be caused by overuse, wind, or rain. If soils are overworked, there are few large plant species, and the nutrient resources diminish, making them susceptible to blowing away, leaching, and weeds. To prevent soil erosion, plant a diverse landscape with native plants. Mulching, windbreaks, and coir netting are other methods used to reduce erosion. You may consult Global Road Technology to learn more about managing soil erosion.
Avoiding soil compaction
Soil compaction is a problem with many causes, including human activity, animals, and groundwater extraction. Soil compaction reduces the space between dirt particles, hindering plant growth and the decomposition of organic matter, which recycles nutrients and aerates the soil. Compacted soil also prevents water from percolating through the soil, causing erosion. Many factors contribute to soil compaction, including construction work, repeated use of lawn mowers and vehicles, and even pedestrian paths.
While natural processes are essential for maintaining soil structure and preventing soil erosion, modern farming practices have altered the nature of soils. Soil rejuvenation is inadequate to maintain the optimum conditions for growing crops. Agricultural practices like multiple field operations, the use of heavy equipment, and farming on wet soils all contribute to soil compaction. This problem can be prevented or controlled by following management practices such as reducing wheel traffic and improving soil organic matter.
To avoid subsoil compaction, check the weight of farm equipment. By reducing the load or increasing the number of axles, farmers can reduce the risk of subsoil compaction.
Subsoiling can help break up compacted soil, and Subsoiling after compaction raises yields by three to 10 percent. Another method that helps break up compacted soil is to plant a deep-rooted cover crop such as oilseed radish, which grows more than two feet deep. Deep-rooted cover crops such as cereal rye also penetrate compacted layers of soil.
One of the most common practices that help prevent soil erosion is the diversion of rainwater. This method impedes water flow and spreads runoff over the land. Plants that have deep roots are best suited for soil erosion control.
Soil texture is affected by the size and distribution of the particles in the soil. Loamy soils are prone to more compaction than sandy soils, and clay soils are not porous and don’t allow water to percolate through the soil. In addition, they are usually more stable and less prone to wind erosion. To prevent soil erosion, avoid over-cultivating the soil and building structures on top of it.