How can soil erosion affect agriculture


Some seriously eroded soils are not usable for crop production at all. Erosion can also reduce the soil’s ability to absorb water, which can result in flooding and create large areas of standing water. If areas remain flooded during the planting season, it can delay or impede the planting of new crops.Jun 1, 2021


How does agriculture affect soil erosion?

  • topsoil thickness;
  • rooting depth, which relates to plant-available water capacity; and
  • depth to maximum clay content in the soil profile.

Why is erosion bad for farming?

Why is erosion so bad for farming? Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields. It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding.

What are the negative effects of erosion?

Negative Effects Of Erosion

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What are the 5 types of soil erosion?

Types of Soil Erosion Rain drop or splash erosion: Erosion preceded by the destruction of the crumb structure due to the impact of falling raindrop on the surface of soil is termed as splash erosion. Sheet erosion: It is the fairly uniform removal of soil in thin layers from the land surface, often scarcely perceptible, especially when caused by wind.


How does soil impact agriculture?

Soil is a critical part of successful agriculture and is the original source of the nutrients that we use to grow crops. The nutrients move from the soil into plants that we eat like tomatoes. Nutrients are also a part of the food animals (like cows) eat. In the end, we benefit from healthy soil.

What are the 5 effects of soil erosion?

Some of the greatest effects of soil erosion include:Loss of Topsoil. Obviously, this is the biggest effect of soil erosion. … Soil Compaction. … Reduced Organic and Fertile Matter. … Poor Drainage. … Issues With Plant Reproduction. … Soil Acidity Levels. … Long Term Erosion. … Water Pollution.More items…

What is soil erosion in agriculture?

Soil erosion is a naturally occurring process that affects all landforms. In agriculture, soil erosion refers to the wearing away of a field’s topsoil by the natural physical forces of water (Figure 1) and wind (Figure 2) or through forces associated with farming activities such as tillage.

How does soil erosion affect us?

Erosion increases the amount of dust carried by wind, which not only acts as an abrasive and air pollutant but also carries about 20 human infectious disease organisms, including anthrax and tuberculosis.

Erosion removes soil from land surfaces, reducing the productivity of all natural ecosystems, including agricultural, forest, and pasture ecosystems

Over many years, human-induced soil erosion and accompanying damage to all agricultural land have resulted in the abandonment of important agricultural land and lower productivity of the remaining land, which is somewhat compensated by the injection of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers.

Causes Of Soil Erosion

Erosion is a critical issue for both productive agricultural land and worries about water quality. To improve water and soil quality, sediment control must be an inherent aspect of any soil management system. Eroded topsoil can be carried into streams and other waterways by wind or water.


Maintaining a permanent surface cover on the soil surface, such as pasture or meadow, is the most effective strategy to control erosion. As a result, soil conservation strategies should be considered in regions that are particularly vulnerable to water or wind erosion.

What is the difference between rill erosion and ephemeral erosion?

Rill erosion occurs during heavy rains, when small rills form over an entire hillside, making farming difficult. Gully erosion makes gullies, some of them huge, impossible to cross with farm machinery. Ephemeral erosion occurs in natural depressions.

Why is soil erosion bad?

Soil erosion is a gradual process that occurs when the impact of water or wind detaches and removes soil particles, causing the soil to deteriorate. Soil deterioration and low water quality due to erosion and surface runoff have become severe problems worldwide. The problem may become so severe that the land can no longer be cultivated and must be abandoned. Many agricultural civilizations have declined due to land and natural resource mismanagement, and the history of such civilizations is a good reminder to protect our natural resources.

How does soil conservation affect erosion?

The amount and rate of surface runoff can affect erosion and sediment transport. Thus, soil conservation practices are important in reducing soil erosion. Improving the soil infiltration rate, resulting in less surface runoff, can lead to reduction of soil erosion. Agronomic, cultural, or structural practices are available for controlling soil …

How is sediment transported?

Eroded topsoil can be transported by wind or water into streams and other waterways. Sediment is a product of land erosion and derives largely from sheet and rill erosion from upland areas, and to a lesser degree, …

Why is Iowa losing soil?

Soil losses in Iowa due to water erosion and surface runoff can contribute a great deal to surface water quality concerns. Many studies indicate that soil erosion results in large decreases in soil productivity.

How does erosion affect water quality?

The impact of soil erosion on water quality becomes significant, particularly as soil surface runoff. Sediment production and soil erosion are closely related. Therefore, the most effective way to minimize sediment production is the stabilization of the sediment source by controlling erosion. Several conservation practices can be used to control erosion but first you need to understand the factors affecting soil erosion. Soil erosion is the detachment and movement of soil particles from the point of origination through the action of water or wind. Thus, minimizing the impact of water or wind forces is the main objective for erosion control. Water erosion is the most pertinent erosion problem in Iowa.

What is the most important problem in Iowa?

Water erosion is the most pertinent erosion problem in Iowa. Soil erosion by water occurs when bare-sloped soil surface is exposed to rainfall, and the rainfall intensity exceeds the rate of soil intake, or infiltration rate, leading to soil-surface runoff.

Why is soil spongy?

Healthy soil is marked by its porous, “spongy” texture, produced by root growth as well as the activities of invertebrates such as earthworms and insects. This sponginess allows rainfall to infiltrate healthy soil deeply, making it less vulnerable to floods and droughts because more of the water that falls on it stays in it.

What were the effects of the Great Depression on the Great Plains?

During the early decades of the 20th century, farmers dramatically expanded unsustainable grazing and farming throughout the Great Plains. In particular, farmers encouraged by rising wheat prices in the 1910s and 1920s plowed up millions of acres of deep-rooted native grasses and adopted farming methods that made the soil a sitting duck for erosion. Later, when the Great Depression struck and wheat prices fell, desperate farmers plowed even more grassland.

Why is soil important for cover crops?

Healthy soil resists erosion well, especially if it is protected by plants above ground and roots below-ground year-round (which is one of the reasons why cover crops are so important).

How does erosion affect agriculture?

Erosion from wind and water annually robs our nation’s farms of billions of tons of soil. In fact, US farms are currently losing twice as much topsoil to erosion per year as the Great Plains lost in a typical year at the height of the 1930s Dust Bowl, one of the most devastating agricultural and social disasters in our history.

How much soil will be lost in 2100?

The results of these projections show that cumulative average soil loss on US cropland by 2100 could range anywhere from about 2.5 inches to over 5 inches, with the business-as-usual projection at about 4. By way of comparison, farm soil in Iowa currently averages about 8 inches deep—and that’s down from a historical depth of 12 to 14 inches.

What was the federal government doing to help the Plains?

Among many measures taken in response to this ecological disaster, the federal government took steps to improve soil conservation and fight erosion, including the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service, which still exists today as …

What happened to the grassland in the 1930s?

Then, starting in 1930, a sustained period of severe drought began, putting bare, degraded soil at the mercy of the region’s high winds. The resulting dust storms brought widespread devastation, bankrupting farms …

How to prevent erosion of soil?

Plants prevent wind and water erosion by covering the soil and binding the soil with their roots. The best choice of plants to prevent soil erosion are herbs, wild flowers and small trees.

What are the causes of soil erosion?

Causes of soil erosion: Due to human activities like deforestation, overgrazing, construction and mining, etc. Natural forces like wind, glacier and water leads to soil erosion. Wind blows loose soil off flat or sloping land, and is called wind erosion. Soil erosion is also caused due to defective methods of farming.

Which activity accelerates soil erosion?

Farming. Agriculture is probably the most significant activity that accelerates soil erosion because of the amount of land that is farmed and how much farming practices disturb the ground (Figure 1). Farmers remove native vegetation and then plow the land to plant new seeds. Fine soil is blown away by wind.


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How do I get this complete project on EFFECT OF SOIL EROSION ON AGRICULTURE?

What is Soil Erosion?

Did you know that when it comes to the topsoil of the planet, it has been slowing being lost and eroded for the past century or so?

Causes of Soil Erosion

So how is soil erosion becoming a major concern and what are the major reasons why it is a common dilemma.

The Rise in Deforestation

Yes removing forests and thick and vast lands of green is definitely one of the major causes of erosion.

Overgrazing Dilemma

This is another major concern that needs to be addressed. It is what we call the way in which natural ecosystems can change into and pasture lands.

The Rise in Agrochemicals

In a world where we have become so accustomed to and adapted various ways to keep the focus on yields and remuneration, it doesn’t come as a surprise that we focus so heavily on the use of pesticides.

Impact of Soil Erosion

So now let’s talk about the major impacts of soil erosion. It is a major cause for concern if not handles and taken care of in a timely manner.

Arable Land Loss

This means that there won’t be any productive land available which would lead to the growth of productive crops. The top soil is highly important.

What Are the Impacts of Soil Erosion?

We’re already seeing the risks of soil erosion play out around the world. Jakarta’s deadly floods earlier this year are a prime example. Eroded sediments from further upstream clogged Jakarta’s rivers and canals, causing them to overflow. Similar erosion-related floods have occurred in many other countries, such as Colombia, India, the Philippines and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

What Solutions Exist to Prevent Soil Erosion?

Terraced farming needs to be implemented to make hillside agriculture manageable. Terraces prevent erosion and allow more water to flow to crops. In addition, hillside farm fields need full crop cover to help keep the soil in place. This can be accomplished by intercropping, which means growing two crops together in the same field, such as planting rows of maize or soybean between rows of oil palm trees. For smallholders, agroforestry systems where a diverse set of crops, including trees, are grown together can be effective. Access to manure improves the organic matter of the soil, which inhibits erosion. Finally, alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted crops improves soil structure and reduces erosion at the same time.

How does soil erosion affect crops?

Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields . It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding. Once soil erosion occurs, it is more likely to happen again.

How does erosion affect the environment?

Erosion degrades land, which means it can support fewer plants that can take in climate-warming carbon dioxide. Soils themselves could potentially sequester enough greenhouse gases in a year to equal about 5% of all annual human-made GHG emissions.

How does agroforestry help with erosion?

For smallholders, agroforestry systems where a diverse set of crops, including trees, are grown together can be effective. Access to manure improves the organic matter of the soil, which inhibits erosion. Finally, alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted crops improves soil structure and reduces erosion at the same time.

How can we reduce soil erosion?

The key to managing and reducing soil erosion is to rehabilitate already-damaged land, stop further degradation and put erosion-preventative measures at the core of land management policy. In this way, we can help prevent hunger and mitigate the climate crisis.

What is the natural resource that is the most fragile product of thousands of years of formation?

Soil is a natural resource that may look robust and endless, but is in fact the fragile product of thousands of years of formation. Topsoil, which lies closest to the surface of the land, contains essential nutrients for crops. It is this layer of soil that is endangered by wind and water erosion. Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can …


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