Soil Loss Caused by Erosion
Soil loss caused by erosion is evaluated with the “phosphorus export diagnostic tool” (ODEP) developed by the Institute for Research and Development in Agro-Environment (IRDA). These losses are evaluated according to the following parameters:
- The sensitivity of the soil to erosion, which is related to the texture, structure, permeability, and organic matter in the soil. For example, a loamy soil, rich in organic matter, well drained and with a good structure, is less likely to be eroded than a slimy, poorly drained soil.Note that the drainage, whether underground or on the surface, is an important factor in controlling soil erosion.
- The slope and its length: the steeper the slope of a field, the more water will drip over a great distance and the greater the quantity of entrained sediment will be.
- The crop and the vegetation cover of the field: direct seeding and the hay crop are examples of agro-environmental practices that reduce soil erosion losses. Conversely, a conventional and systematic approach to soil and to the silage of maize cause more erosion problems.
- The presence of buffer strips and surface planning, such as grassed waterways and gullies, also influence the amount of soil erosion.
Why care about soil loss caused by erosion?
To preserve your capital: when soil losses are high, nearly 15 tons/yr/ha of soil can be lost. To quantify the annual cost of the problem, do the following exercise, taking into account that a hectare contains about 2,400 tons of soil:
Value of a hectare in $ X number of tons eroded/yr/ha = $ lost/yr/ha
$10,000/ha X 15 tons/yr/ha = 62.50 $ lost/yr/ha
For environmental reasons: phosphorus, largely responsible for the problems related to the quality of water, is transported in the soil to the water stream. In some instances, an adjustment of the fertilization may be necessary, but it is also important to control erosion. To do this, we suggest you follow the approach proposed in the section Water, Air, and Soil of your NMP.
To find out more
Logiag Inc. offers you the following services:
- GPS survey of the micro-topography of your land, leveling plan, and soil erosion control plan;
- once the survey is completed and the leveling plans and soil erosion control plans are implemented: correction of the chemical aspects and improvement of soil structure thanks to precise sampling and the establishment of lime application program at varying doses.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your agronomist.
Evaluation of Soil Loss Caused by Erosion
|Soil Loss||Fields Affected||Diagnosis||Agro-environmental Approach|
|Very weak||46, 49, 50, 51||The erosion of soil is not problematic.||Visit your fields in the spring just before you begin to work to observe the evolution of the situation and to modify, if necessary, your plan of action.|
|Weak||52, 55, 59, 60||The erosion of soil is not problematic.||Visit your fields in the spring just before you begin to work to observe the evolution of the situation and to modify, if necessary, your plan of action.|
|Moderate||16, 17, 19, 28, 32, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 44||The erosion of soil is problematic.||Analyze further and follow the directions below this table.|
|High||21, 29, 34, 35, 36, 39||The erosion of soil is problematic.||It is urgent that you identify the interventions which will allow you to control the problem of erosion. You should analyze further and follow the directions below this table.|
|47, 48, 53, 54||Unsampled fields for which we cannot make a diagnosis.||Analyze your soil: certain essential data for the calculation of soil loss is missing. It is thus impossible for us to suggest an agro-environmental approach.|
Predictions of Phosphorus Loss Caused by Erosion
The loss of phosphorus due to erosion is directly linked to the loss of soil. The approach and the diagnosis suggested for soil loss therefore also applies to phosphorus loss. Please refer to it for more detail.In the case of two parcels having equal soil loss, it should be noted that if one of them has a higher phosphorus content than the other, then phosphorus loss will be greater. For example, a rich but eroded soil will suffer a greater loss than less rich soil. We remind you that proper fertilization and adequate erosion control can reduce soil loss and, consequently, reduce the amount of phosphorus in rivers.