Wet spring battered soils in parts of Midwest
EWG staff took a road trip near the end of May to survey the damage caused to fields by the extensive spring rains. They found gullies scarring multiple fields. In the report, EWG offers aerial imagery to show where they took pictures on their road trip. The report is available to view here.
The report suggests better conservation measures would help protect the land against such devastating erosion in the future. EWG observed that where conservation practices were in place, they worked and help preserve soil. The staff found that no-till, grassed waterways, terraces, contour grass strips and other buffer practices—especially in combination—were very effective in stemming the gully erosion and runoff that was prevalent on unprotected fields.
Unpredictable weather and strong storms can easily damage high quality farmland. Soil scientists are seeing more erosion on farmland than they have in years, according to a report from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Not to forget that with the soil erosion goes the crop nutrients and valuable inputs that soil contained. As local, state and federal governments are looking to curb nutrient runoff into streams and waterways, conservation practices appear to be a key strategy toward preserving top farmland soil, crop nutrients and preventing fertilizer pollution in the waterways.