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



  1.  p. 95-111
    ASA Special Publication 45.
    Determinants of Soil Loss Tolerance

    B.L. Schmidt (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-311-2


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Current Criteria for Determining Soil Loss Tolerance

  1. D. E. Mccormack,
  2. K. K. Young and
  3. L. W. Kimberlin1


Current criteria for determining soil loss tolerance (T value) are imperfect. Much is still unknown about the rates at which a favorable root zone forms and about the effects of erosion on soil productivity. It is known, however, that erosion at the rate of the maximum tolerance of 11.2 metric tons/ha/year exceeds the estimated rate at which most parent rocks weather.

Water quality objectives are too variable to provide a basis for determining T value. Additional work on the sediment delivery ratio is needed to clarify the relationship between soil erosion and water quality. A sediment limit is proposed as an aid in planning conservation systems that can limit soil erosion to meet water quality objectives.

Policies on the amount of erosion that can be tolerated should not be made solely by the scientist. Farmers and other land users, soil and water conservation districts, special interest groups, and political groups must participate in developing such policies. A major responsibility of the scientist is to inform these policy makers of the likely consequences of various options available to them. Political expediency and short-sighted environmental or economic demands cannot be allowed to determine tolerable levels of soil erosion.

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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