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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effect of 39 Years of Cropping Practices on Wind Erodibility and Related Properties of an Irrigated Chestnut Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 3, p. 181-185
    Received: Dec 8, 1952

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  1. A. P. Mazurak,
  2. A. W. Zingg and
  3. W. S. Chepil2



In April 1951, a portable wind tunnel was set up at the Scotts Bluff Substation on plots that were planted to sugar beets and potatoes. The soil losses from wind under controlled conditions were measured on manured and non-manured plots from (i) a 3-year rotation of barley, potatoes and sugar beets and (ii) a 6-year rotation of barley with alfalfa, alfalfa 3-years, potatoes and sugar beets. On these and other plots, size-fractions of air-dried clods from the surface 2-inches of soil were separated by means of rotary sieves. Each size-fraction was analyzed for the apparent density of clods, total nitrogen content, and moisture content at 15-atmosphere tension.

The cropping and manurial practices showed a marked effect on the soil losses from wind. Alfalfa in the rotation was superior to manure application in reducing soil losses. Application of 12 tons of barnyard manure on potato plots in a 3-year rotation reduced the soil loss from 74,500 pounds per acre to 2,720. The soil loss on non-manured plots in the 6-year rotation was 970 pounds per acre. The beet plots, in a cropping system and manurial application similar to potato plots showed a smaller regimen of soil losses.

Mechanical stability of clods was determined by their resistance to break-down as a result of resieving. It was greatest in plots cropped to continuous barley, followed in order by beets, corn, and potatoes. Mechanical stability was greater in manured plots than in non-manured.

The application of manure or growing of alfalfa in the rotation effected a marked reduction in the apparent density of clods and increased the total nitrogen content and the moisture content at 15-atmosphere tension. Alfalfa was superior to manure in effecting these changes in soil properties.

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