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Book: Determinants of Soil Loss Tolerance
Published by: American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 41-51
    ASA Special Publication 45.
    Determinants of Soil Loss Tolerance

    B.L. Schmidt (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-311-2


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Soil Erosion Effects on Soil Productivity of Cultivated Cropland1

  1. G. W. Langdale and
  2. W. D. Shrader2


Soil erosion always increases the cost of crop production and causes potential environmental hazards as well as human suffering. Erosion of soils by water reduces crop yields principally through the loss of nutrients and available water. Exposed subsoils caused by severe soil erosion also exhibit many adverse properties with respect to soil management for economic crop production.

Agronomic implications of soil erosion by water in the United States have been derived mainly from limited research on Mollisols, Alfisols, and Ultisols. Because cultivated Ultisols of the southeastern USA are thinner and suffer problems associated with subsoil acidity, crop yield reductions appear more permanent and difficult to restore. The permanency of soil erosion on crop yield reductions on many Mollisols soils appears ephemeral, because only additional quantities of N, occasionally P, and micronutrients are required to restore crop yields.

Additional research is urgently needed to quantify crop yield losses associated with soil erosion and reduce the cost of restoring crop production to an economic competitive level on eroded landscapes. Research of this nature would also provide insights for controlling unacceptable soil erosion levels.

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Copyright © 1982. Copyright 1982 by the American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA