A hedge with an edge for erosion control.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Soil erosion (Research)
Hedges (Research)
No-tillage (Research)
Author: Dabney, Seth
Pub Date: 05/01/2010
Publication: Name: Agricultural Research Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Agricultural industry; Biotechnology industry; Business Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 U.S. Government Printing Office ISSN: 0002-161X
Issue: Date: May-June, 2010 Source Volume: 58 Source Issue: 5
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 237601140
Full Text: One way farmers can preserve soil and protect water quality is by planting grass hedges to trap sediment that would likely otherwise be washed away in runoff from the field.

Researchers conducted a series of studies over 13 years to assess the effectiveness of grass hedges for erosion control in wide-row or ultra-narrow-row conventional tillage or no-till cotton systems. They established single-row continuous swaths of a noninvasive variety of miscanthus grass across the lower ends of 72-foot-long plots with a 5-percent slope. Then they tracked how much sediment was trapped by the vegetation from both the wide-row and ultra-narrow-row conventional tillage and no-till fields.

When mature, the hedges captured about 90 percent of eroded sediment from ultra-narrow-row conventionally tilled fields and only about 50 percent of sediment from no-till fields. Nevertheless, the actual soil loss from the no-till plots--either with or without grass hedges--was much less than that from conventionally tilled plots with or without grass hedges, because no-till production greatly reduces erosion. Seth Dabney, USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS; (662) 232-2975, seth.dabney@ars.usda.gov.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.