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Sunday, July 22, 2018

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2518. Helm, Douglas. 1981. Soil conservation in the Palouse country: oral history interview of Verle Kaiser. Bunchgrass Historian, Vol. 16, No. 3.
Kaiser describes early soil conservation efforts in the Palouse and the problems they tried to correct. States that 90-95% of pea residues and 75% of wheat straw was burned in the old days. Cut moldboards in half to make a "stubby" plow that wouldn't move as much soil downhill. Promoted straw spreaders on combines. Adapted equipment designed for midwest conditions to the Palouse. Promoted the planting of alfalfa/grass on the hilltops for 5-6 yr, then crop for 2-3 yr, then back to alfalfa. introduced biennial sweetclover (planted with peas) as a green manure, which boosted wheat yields 25%. Also added organic matter and improved infiltration with its taproot. Use of strip cropping is limited in the Palouse topography. Need long gentle slopes of 5-12%. States that 80% of the soil loss comes from steep slopes that are summerfallowed. Advocates standing stubble to increase soil moisture storage and erosion control. States that highest yielding ground always has history of manure, and loss of livestock in the Palouse has been a problem. Tillage erosion has removed 2-3 times the soil of water erosion on the hilltops and steep slopes. With government programs, the farmer is no longer the "manager" of the farm, and planning becomes difficult. Barley a good conservation crop when spring planted. Could cut the erosion in the Palouse in half by shifting from a winter to a spring crop.

5434. Pubols, B.H., A.E. Orr and C.P. Heisig. 1939. Farming systems and practices and their relationship to soil conservation and farm income in the wheat region of Washington.. WA State Ag. Exp. Sta. Bull. #374.
In a survey of 225 farms, different soil conservation practices were documented. "Inertia, insufficient farm income, lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the situation, or an attitude of indifference toward soil conservation even though the situation is recognized" are some of the reasons for the limited effort made to conserve soil. Some look at the situation from the short-term viewpoint and apparently have no interest in the future. T: Number of farmers reporting use of selected conservation practices.

6776. Taylor, M.C. and V.W. Baker. 1947. Economic aspects of soil conservation in the Palouse wheat-pea area.. WA Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. #494.
The objective of this study was to measure the effect of the conservation program on farm income during the sixth year of a 6-yr period. The purpose was to evaluate the economic effects of the program currently recommended for the area and to contribute information for the improvement of conservation planning. It was found that there was no significant relationship of current farm income to the total conservation inputs over a 6-yr period. There was no significant or consistent relationship of crop yields or labor and machinery requirements to conservation inputs. It was noted, however, that by slight shifts in land use and farm organization the higher conservation score farmers were able to maintain net incomes comparable to those of other farmers. T: Percentage of crop land in grass-legumes on 69 sample Palouse farms by conservation score groups, 1941 to 1946. Percentage of crop land in sweetclover used as green manure crop on 69 sample Palouse farms by conservaton score groups, 1941 - 1946.

8422. Anon.. 1990. Gully washers show strip value.. Whitman Co. Gazette, Colfax, WA p. 9. 7/19/90.
Several cloudbursts in Whitman Co. during May and June moved 150-200 tons of soil per acre off slopes. Some flats were covered with six to 18 inches of sediment. Rills and gullies that started on summer fallow strips were mostly blocked or dissipated by the cropped strips below. A field that had been chiseled but not rodweeded did not erode at all. On long summer fallow slopes, there were gullies 30 inches wide and a foot or more deep.

10040. Wohld, M.. 1991 Mar.. Good farming practices reduced erosion this winter.. Washington Farmer-Stockman, p. 22-23..
Erosion would have been worse after the winter of 1990-91 if it had not been for good erosion control measures such as strip cropping, divided slopes and straw residue management. Strip cropping and divided slopes alone can reduce erosion by about 50%. Leaving as little as 200 pounds of straw residue on the surface per acre can have some positive impact on erosion, according to WSU research. Strip cropping is also important for moisture conservation.

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