Some obstacles to soil erosion control in western Iowa

Date
2017-06-12
Authors
Frey, John
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify and analyze some of the forces that might be retarding soil conservation efforts in the Ida-Monona area in western Iowa. Achievement of this purpose appears necessary as a' step toward later studies of ways and means for overcoming obstacles to land use programs in the area. With this purpose in mind, the "gap" between the soil conservation goals recommended by public agency technicians for individual farms in the area and the erosion control achieved by farmers was first delineated in considerable detail.

This study showed that in 1949, 89 percent of the farmers in the area surveyed had not yet reduced their soil losses to the annual rate of 5 tons per acre or less which is considered the maximum that will maintain soil productivity and prevent gullying. Furthermore, farm operators on the average were following only one or two erosion control practices which, would directly help in reducing soil erosion, although as many as six or seven different practices were recommended per farm. Farmers were more reluctant to adopt terraces and high-forage rotations than other practices. Also, to comply with current erosion control recommendations it was estimated that the present acreage of row crops in the area should be reduced 41 percent, while the acreage of hay and meadow should be increased 54 percent.

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