K-State Research and Extension News
January 22, 2009
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K-State No-Till Study: Water Erosion Curbed Even When Surface Residue Is Sparse


HAYS, Kan. – Even when surface residue is thin, no-till farming practices improve soils and reduce water-related erodibility.  That’s the bottom line from a recent study across the central Great Plains by Kansas State University researcher Humberto Blanco.

“This regional study shows that no-till farming has large and positive effects on improving soil structural properties, increasing soil organic carbon content and reducing soil’s water erodibility -- even if surface crop residue levels are sparse,” said Blanco, who is a soil management researcher with K-State Research and Extension.


Blanco added, however, that no-till’s impacts on soil aggregate properties influencing wind erosion appear to be limited. This suggests producers will have to maintain adequate surface crop residue levels for no-till to reduce wind erosion.


“The ability of no-till to control water erosion has enormous implications, though, because intense rainstorms can cause large losses of soil in semiarid regions,” Blanco said. “Increasing soil organic concentration through no-till and other best management practices is crucial for reducing soil erosion, while also improving soil quality and sustaining crop production.”


Details of the study can be found on the K-State Extension Agronomy Web site: http://www.agronomy.ksu.edu/extension. (Click on “e-Updates/Current Topics” and on the Jan. 9, 2009, newsletter.)  Humberto Blanco can be reached at 785-625-3425 or hblanco@ksu.edu.

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K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Mary Lou Peter
mlpeter@ksu.edu
K-State Research & Extension News

Humberto Blanco is at 785-625-3425, ext 215.