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David Sparks Ph.d Effects of soil erosion on crops
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: July 27, 2017

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In an article “Effects of soil erosion on crop productivity”

Rattan Lal & William C. Moldenhauer stated: “Soil erosion and the effects of soil erosion on crop productivity have become emotional issues and have attracted the attention of agriculturists, environmentalists, and the public in general. In spite of heavy investments in research and development, the global rates of accelerated erosion are now presumbly higher than ever before.” University of Missouri Distinguished Professor of Soil Science Dr. Stephen Anderson has advocated switchgrass as a rotation crop and I had a question for him. "If you suspect that you are losing topsoil due to water erosion or whatever, if you planted switchgrass would that slow the erosion? Oh absolutely. Switchgrass is a perennial and that's why a lot of people are focusing it on cover crops now. To keep that cover helps reduce the impact of rain energy so it doesn't detach the particles so hopefully those roots and things in that cover, helps bind things so you don't have the transport and loss of the soil. So the switchgrass definitely does that because it's a perennial. It's year-round. Even though you can harvest it, you still leave the roots and that cover on the surface year-round. That's an additional benefit of that. So anytime you have a perennial, it's always better because you keep cover on that soil surface.”

 

Reduced crop yields from erosion is attributed to loss of rooting depth, decrease in plant?available water reserves, reduction in organic matter, and nutrient imbalance.

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