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Table of Contents
Figure 1). These channels are called rills when they are small enough to not interfere with field machinery operations. The same eroded channels are known as gullies when they become a nuisance factor in normal tillage.
Figure 2). Surface runoff, causing gull formation or the enlarging of existing gullies, is usually the result of improper outlet design for local surface and subsurface drainage systems. The soil instability of fully banks, usually associated with seepage of ground water, leads to sloughing and slumping (caving-in) of bank slopes. Such failures usually occur during spring months when the soil water conditions are most conducive to the problem.
Gully Erosion Control) [B]Stream and Ditch Bank Erosion
Poor construction, or inadequate maintenance, of surface drainage systems, uncontrolled livestock access, and cropping too close to both stream banks has led to bank erosion problems.

[تصویر:  87-040f3.jpg]

Figure 3. Reshaping and vegetating this ditch bank would stabilize this soil erosion problem.

The direct damages from bank erosion include:

  1. The loss of productive farmland.
  2. The undermining of structures such as bridges.
  3. The washing out of lanes, roads and fence rows.

Poorly constructed tile outlets may also contribute to stream and ditch bank erosion. Some do not function properly because they have no rigid outlet pipe, or have outlet pipes that have been damaged by erosion, machinery, inadequate or no splash pads, and bank cave-ins.

On-Site Effects: The implications of soil erosion extend beyond the removal of valuable topsoil. Crop emergence, growth and yield are directly affected through the loss of natural nutrients and applied fertilizers with the soil. Seeds and plants can be disturbed or completely removed from the eroded site. Organic matter from the soil, residues and any applied manure, is relatively light-weight and can be readily transported off the field, particularly during spring thaw conditions. Pesticides may also be carried off the site with the eroded soil.

Soil quality, structure, stability and texture can be affected by the loss of soil. The breakdown of aggregates and the removal of smaller particles or entire layers of soil or organic matter can weaken the structure and even change the texture. Textural changes can in turn affect the water-holding capacity of the soil, making it more susceptible to extreme condition such a drought.

Off-Site Effects: Off-site impacts of soil erosion are not always as apparent as the on-site effects. Eroded soil, deposited down slope can inhibit or delay the emergence of seeds, bury small seedling and necessitate replanting in the affected areas. Sediment can be deposited on down slope properties and can contribute to road damage.

Sediment which reaches streams or watercourses can accelerate ban erosion, clog drainage ditches and stream channels, silt in reservoirs, cover fish spawning grounds and reduce downstream water quality. Pesticides and fertilizers, frequently transported along with the eroding soil can contaminate or pollute downstream water sources and recreational areas. Because of the potential seriousness of some of the off-site impacts, the control of "non-point" pollution from agricultural land has become of increasing importance in Ontario.
Figure 4).


[تصویر:  87-040f4.jpg]

Figure 4. Utilization of windbreaks and improved tillage practices would reduce the crop damage due to wind on this field.

Soil drifting is a fertility-depleting process that can lead to poor crop growth and yield reductions in areas of fields where wind erosion is a recurring problem. Continual drifting of an area gradually causes a textural change in the soil. Loss of fine sand, silt, clay and organic particles from sandy soils serves to lower the moisture holding capacity of the soil. This, in turn, increases the erodibility of the soil and compounds the problem.

The removal of wind blown soils from fence rows, ditches, roads and from around buildings is a costly process.
[B]Summary

Many farmers in Ontario have already made significant progress in dealing with soil erosion problems in their farms. However, because of continued advances in soil management and crop production technology that have maintained or increased yields in spite of soil erosion, others have not been aware of the increasing problem on farmland. Awareness usually occurs only when property is damaged and productive areas of soil are lost.



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