Soil management and production of alfisols in the semi-arid tropics. IV. Simulation of decline in productivity caused by soil erosion

Littleboy, M and Cogle, A L and Smith, G D and Rao, K P C and Yule, D F (1996) Soil management and production of alfisols in the semi-arid tropics. IV. Simulation of decline in productivity caused by soil erosion. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 34 (1). pp. 127-138. ISSN 1838-6768

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Maintenance of a productive soil base by minimizing soil erosion is vital to long-term crop production. In this study, a modelling approach is used to estimate the effects of soil erosion on productivity for a sorghum cropping system on an Alfisol in the semi-arid tropics of India. Predictions of erosion, runoff and yield decline due to erosion, for variations in initial soil depth, slope, tillage strategy and amendment treatment, are presented. On average, soil depth decreased by 0.91 cm/year at Hyderabad for a 10% slope, 80 cm initial soil depth, shallow tillage at planting and no surface amendment. Rates of soil removal and subsequent yield decline were higher for shallower soils, steeper slopes and if management practices provided less surface cover during the crop. The productive life of the soil was less than 91 years for some soil depths, slope and management combinations. For other combinations, significant yield decline was predicted after 91 years of cropping. The quantification of erosion-productivity relationships allows us to identify regions with a higher risk of degradation from soil erosion and to estimate the impact of various management options on long-term sustainability. Models provide a basis to focus research and a means of assessing alternative management strategies to preserve long-term production.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Model, Erosion, Productivity, Surface management
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Others > Watershed Management
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Ms. Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2014 08:40
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2014 08:40
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We thank the staff associated with the field project including S. T. Srinivasan, P. J. George, L. S. Jangawad, M. Ali, G. P. Kumar and N. Ramaswamy and P. Kistiah for maintaining and operating the experiment
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