Effect of Tillage Practices Upon Intake Rates, Runoff and Soil Losses of Dry-Farm Land Soils1
- C. H. Diebold2
During the growing season, serious losses of water and soil occur on extensive areas of dry-farm land in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah due to poor surface soil condition and to the presence of tillage pans, usually at depths of from 3 to 8 inches. Studies were made of runoff and soil losses from plots containing 30½ square feet. Simulated 10-year storms were applied to these plots to evaluate tillage practices.
The following conclusions were made during these studies. Chiseling through the tillage pan every 12 inches reduced both soil and water loss more than cultivation with either sweeps or one way disks on deep, medium textured soils. Excessive runoff and erosion occurred where the chisel spacing was 5 feet, or where chiseling, sweeps, and oneway did not penetrate through the tillage pan.
Runoff from snow on frozen ground causes serious losses of soil and water in northern Utah. A frozen watershed that had been chiseled lost 0.61 inch less runoff than a similar watershed that had been cultivated with a oneway disk. Medium textured soils high in silt, when frozen at high moisture contents, had slow intake rates, irrespective of tillage practices.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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