Detachment of Soil as Affected by Fertility Management and Crop Rotations
- S. K. Hussain,
- J. Skopp and
- L. N. Mielke
An experiment was initiated on Sharpsburg silty clay loam (fine, montmorillonitic, mesic Typic Argiudoll) in 1981 to compare the effects of fertility management and crop practices on splash detachment of soil. Experimental treatments included comparisons of crop rotations of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] after corn (Zea mays L.) (SB), corn after soybean (C), and oat/red and yellow sweetclover (Avena sativa L./Trifolium pratense L. and Mellilotus officinalis Lam.) after corn (O/CL). For each crop rotation, there were two management options, either added manure (OR) or herbicide plus chemical fertilizer (HF). The seventh treatment was continuous corn (CC) with herbicide, chemical fertilizer, and insecticide. Soil surface samples from each treatment were subjected to rainfall intensities of low (35 mm h−1), medium (62 mm h−1), and high (120 mm h−1). Total splash detachment of soil from simulated rainfall was linearly related to rainfall intensity. For all crop rotation treatments, total splash detachment generally was greater for manured soils than from soil with herbicides and fertilizer. Continuous corn had the lowest soil splash detachment at low intensity, second highest splash detachment at medium intensity, and the highest splash detachment at high intensity. This trend clearly indicated that rate of splash detachment of CC was higher than from soil under crop rotations. The splash detachment rates were 48, 40, 39, and 31 mg cm−3 for CC, C, SB, and O/CL, respectively. Treatment by rainfall intensity interaction was significant, which suggested that intensity and crop rotation were not independent in their effect on soil splash detachment. Soil aggregation as inferred from geometric mean diameter (GMD) indicated that CC had the lowest degree of aggregation (150) as compared to 211 for C, 225 for SB, and 313 for O/CL.
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