Take steps to control wind erosion before springtime winds blow
Normally the residue must be anchored in place with a stubble puncher or disk, although long-stemmed residues such as corn stalks might not require anchoring.
Livestock manure also can reduce wind erosion, she said, particularly in growing wheat, fallow fields and row crops. Typically, six to eight tons of manure per acre controls wind erosion on vulnerable spots, but care should be taken when storing and apply manure, so as not to contaminate water sources.
Irrigation to control erosion is generally impractical and wastes water because the surface tends to dry rapidly under high wind conditions. However, if a high-value cash crop is at stake, irrigation might be a practical solution if enough water can be applied to keep the surface sufficiently moist.
Temporary, artificial wind barriers, such as board or snow fences or hay bales can be used if the eroding area is relatively small, such as stock watering areas or knolls. Protection can be expected for a downwind distance approximately 10 to 15 times the height of the barrier.
Soil stabilizers are soil additives or spray-on adhesives, which bind soil particles together, Presley said. They are generally expensive, temporary and used only for high-value cash crops such as vegetables. While there are a number of materials available, they are not compatible with all soils and often made ineffective by rainfall, cultivation, or abrasion from untreated areas.
In addition to the wind erosion publication, information is available at www.weru.ksu.edu/ and from three videos at: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=255. The videos were produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit and USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service in conjunction with the Educational Communications Center at Kansas State University.
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