Planting to Avoid Wind Erosion
When winds exceed 12 miles per hour, they remove layers of topsoil that are not being held in place by vegetation. Like oil and coal, soil is an often overlooked non-renewable resource. That means that unlike trees, soil cannot be replaced in a human, or even a thousand human lifetimes! Some more immediate consequences of soil erosion include lower crop yields, increased Nitrogen and Phosphorous loss leading to increased fertilizer costs, and reduced water-holding capacity which can increase irrigation costs.
Viewer Tip: If you are planting crops, one of the most effective ways that you can cut down on wind erosion in your fields is to orient your crop rows perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction and plant windbreaks consisting of shrubs every few rows. The less unsheltered area there is along the prevailing wind direction, the less wind erosion there will be.
Learn more about erosion control by visiting: www.cals.ncsu.edu/wq/wqp/wqpollutants/sediment/sediment.html.
(Source: United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. “A Farmer’s Guide to Agriculture and Water Quality Issues.” Accessed Online 27 March 2008 <http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/wq/wqp/wetlands/wetfactsheets.html>)