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Updated: August 8, 2017
Keen observers have noted signs of rill erosion in crop fields. Do we still need conservation practices like grassed waterways and strip cropping to control these?
Reports have been coming in of rill erosion in crop fields. In some cases these rills are transformed into gullies. These fields may be in previously tilled or no-till fields. Rills are the result of concentrated flow cutting into the soil and carrying soil away with runoff. If nothing is done to heal them rills degrade into gullies.
The difference between rills and gullies is that rills can still be crossed easily with farm equipment, but gullies cannot. Rills can easily become gullies in no-till field because the rills are not filled in and in the next runoff event the runoff cuts in a bit more. However, tillage doesn't solve the problem of concentrated flow runoff, but just covers up its effects - rills will form again next year if concentrated flow occurs.
Here are some tips to avoid rill erosion:
It is important to keep good care of our soils, which includes eliminating the scar of rill erosion on our farms.
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