Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Soil Stability Enhanced by Using No-Till Agriculture

Nothing new in that statement, you say.

For users and advocates of the conservation farming approach, it would seem to be old knowledge. But similar outcomes might also be expected for areas where similar practices are now also being used. For example, use of recycled organics in transport corridors, rehabilitating mining sites with similar products and similar off farm uses.

A recently concluded 19 year study across a wide region of the US has delivered some quite definitive results. Using plant residues on the soil surface, along with no till farming delivers significant improvements in soil stability and resistance to erosion.

The "cover" term in the universal loss loss equation has been so modified as to bring modifications to soil loss. And as said above, the same should apply to other areas where surface cover with organic materials is practised.

The critical part is this - "No-till stores more soil carbon, which helps bind or glue soil particles together, making the first inch of topsoil two to seven times less vulnerable to the destructive force of raindrops than ploughed soil.

The structure of these aggregates in the first inch of topsoil is the first line of defense against soil erosion by water or wind. Understanding the resistance of these aggregates to the erosive forces of wind and rain is critical to evaluating soil erodibility. "

Get your soil cover in place.
Especially so in the tropics where erosion impacts from high intensity storms can create erosion problems very quickly. And it is a wise practice for many civil engineering developments as well.

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