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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Residue Characteristics for Wind and Water Erosion Control

Authors
item McCool, Donald
item Sharratt, Brenton
item Krauss, Hans - FORMER USDA-NRCS
item Mcclellan, Ronald - FORMER USDA-NRCS

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2006
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Standing crop residue is effective in controlling erosion and preventing dust emission in areas prone to wind erosion. In northern climates, standing stubble retains snow deposits and enhances soil water, and in areas affected by water erosion, surface residue is effective in protecting the soil. The most effective and durable portion of the plant for preventing erosion and retaining snow deposits is the stem. There is considerable difference in stem quantity, diameter, and projected area per unit mass among different crops and different varieties of a particular crop. We conducted a study to obtain relationships between mass of above-ground residue per unit area as a function of crop yield, fraction of the residue that is stem, and projected area per unit mass of stem for cereal crops commonly grown on Pacific Northwest US dry-farmed cropland. Data for specific crops and implications for erosion control are presented. These data can be used as input to improve the performance of water and wind erosion models.

Technical Abstract: Standing residue is an effective means of controlling erosion and preventing dust emission in areas prone to wind erosion. In northern climates, standing stubble retains snow deposits and enhances soil water, and in areas affected by water erosion, surface residue is an effective means of protecting the soil. The most effective and durable aerial portion of the plant for preventing erosion is the stem. Considerable difference in stem quantity, diameter, and projected area per unit mass exists among different crops and different varieties of a particular crop. We conducted a study of residue characteristics to obtain relationships between mass of above ground residue per unit area as a function of crop yield, portion of stem in the residue, and stem area per unit mass for cereal crops commonly grown on the Pacific Northwest US dry-farmed cropland. Data for specific crops and implications for erosion control are presented. These data can be used as input for water and wind erosion models such as RUSLE2, WEPP, and WEPS.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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