|A larger rainfall simulator can be used
in real field comparisons. Here at Tribune,
Kansas approximately 2
inches of precipitation was applied.
On the left is a true no-till
field, that has not been tilled for over eight years. On the right
is a field that has been in reduced till for the same period.
Tillage in this case consists of blading periodically through the fallow
period to reduce weed water use. This field has been bladed
three times since wheat harvest one year ago.
|A closer inspection of the no-till shows very little runoff occurred,
and little to no soil erosion can be seen. Infiltration rates
(water movement into the soil) remained high throughout the demonstration, showing the
maintaining residue on the soil surface. Soil structure is
maintained when tillage is not used, which leads to better infiltration
rates over time.
|On the other hand, the reduced till
field showed significant puddling
and runoff even after only a quarter of an inch of precipitation had
been applied. This picture shows field conditions following one
inch of precipitation. The raindrops do not penetrate the soil
(puddle) and runoff the soil, starting the erosion process. Soil erosion can occur on any soil if left
unprotected because of the lowered infiltration rates. As the soil surface breaks
down and seals, causes runoff, and subsequently soil erosion by water.
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