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verified for correctness. Some of the information contained herein is hearsay and may not
be correct. Use the information from these pages only at your own risk!
Erosion can reduce the productive value of your land, degrade
surface water quality, and cause sedimentation problems on adjoining land.
Soil in surface water causes several problems:
- Increases filtration costs for downstream domestic, municipal, and irrigation
- Degrades habitat for salmon, trout, and other beneficial wildlife
- Reduces scenic and recreational values of the river
- Undesirable pesticides, bacteria, or phosphorus may be attached to soil
Benefits of Effective Erosion Control:
- Protects long term productivity of the topsoil.
- Prevents damage to lands or property.
- Improves land appearance.
- Prevents complaints.
Maintain productivity of soil on your land.
Reduce need for fertilizer and/or tillege, which can reduce
Maintain desirable land values and appearance.
Erosion Control recommendations
include two basic components
- Reduce soil and sediment in stream water to protect all
With increasing concern for protection of water quality for beneficial uses, management
plans for rural erosion control are being considered or have been adopted in watersheds
- Manage lands so that runoff does not cause gully erosion on the managed land, or on
- Conduct livestock and crop activities so that any resulting erosion is below the
established tolerable rate. As a rule of thumb, if erosion is noticable, erosion is
probably exceeding the tolerable erosion rate.
- Pasture management - Cross fence
pastures for grazing rotation to maintain good ground cover. Remove livestock from field
before forage is below three inches in height. In late May or early June, clip pasture to
restore plant vigor and reduce weed seed formation. Turn animals back into the pasture
when grass is six to eight inches high. To increase total pasture productivity and protect
soil, hold animals in a winter paddock or level sacrifice area and provide hay when
pasture is not actively growing. (See Pasture
- Roof runoff management - Install gutters
on roofs, with downspout outlets on grassed, level, non-erosive areas. Locate water
outlets to avoid runoff to bare soil, steep slopes, or areas with manure.
- Protect streambanks and hills from erosion - Keep
animals away from slopes during wet weather. Keep slopes in thick ground cover. (See
Near-Stream Management). Plant slopes with grass, shrubs, and small trees to stabilize
soil. Native varieties are recommended.
- Contour tillage - On slopes,
make tillage and planting operations on the contour. This will slow runoff, increase
infiltration, and reduce erosion.
- Waterways - Plant turf grass in
ditches, swales, or other waterways or install an inlet structure with pipeline to carry
water safely around an erosive area. Thick grass ground cover will hold the soil, slow
runoff speed, and increase infiltration.
- Cover cropping - If a field needs
renovation, establish a cover crop by early October. Include oats or annual rye in the
fall seed mix as good winter "nurse" crops to start growing fast and protect
soil. Perennial grasses in the seed mix will often crowd them out by next fall.
- Residue management - Leave
abundant plant debris on soil surface from October to April. Leaves and stems on soil slow
runoff, trap soil particles, increase infiltration, and improve soil structure.
- Communicating for Agriculture is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the needs of
America's farmers and ranchers. They can be contacted at: http://www.cainc.org
This page was last updated on
November 15, 2002