AGEN 2363 Chpt. 1 notes.
I. Importance of soil and water resources with regard to food, fiber, shelter,
loss of arable land, and societies. Why society should be concerned and help.
II. Problems with soil erosion, sedimentation. Discuss, list.
III. Objective of soil conservation.
Conserve soil and water resources for sustained productivity.
BMP – define, discuss components.
‘Topsoil’ – define, discuss importance with regard to plant growth.
Economics of soil and water conservation: challenges, technology, needs. Discuss.
IV. Soil erosion process:
A. Two-step process.
B. Three broad types of soil erosion: sheet (main one), rill, gulley.
C. Catastrophic events.
V. Conservation techniques.
- Tillage methods: Conservation tillage – define. Others.
- no-till, reduced till, fallow seedbed, ridge-till, strip cropping, contouring,
crop rotations, cover crops, nurse crops, fallow, others? Discuss.
- Vegetative methods: filter strips, wildlife/woodland/wetland establishment,
grassed waterways, others? discuss.
- Constructive: broadbase terraces, bench terraces, precision land leveling,
graded waterways with weirs, rip rap, filter screens, sediment basins, others? discuss
- Conservation planning: a short- or long-term plan for land management designed to
optimize resources while keeping soil losses below acceptable rates and keeping runoff
reduced and clean.
soil ‘T’ value: discuss
VI. Soil properties that influence conservation:
- topography, depth, permeability, presence of restrictive or semi-restrictive sub-soil
layers, texture, structure, fertility, and economic value.
- USDA land class system – handout, go over.
- Tools: soil maps, soil data (soil surveys), GIS maps, GPS mapping, others? discuss.
VII. Future of soil and water conservation in the U.S. and World? discuss.