top soil erosion?



guywhofishes

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deleted_account

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:;:stirthepot

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For reals tho. This is a concerning topic. The RRV is a sea of black
 


lunkerslayer

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There was a reason that my grandfather great grandfather planted shelter belts, If we go through another dry cycle with no shelter belts or crp programs we could be dealing with some serious soil erosion. I believe that drain tile can be used to irrigate fields when conditions are needed for more moisture. I still believe shelter belts were a double bonus wildlife habitat and windbreaks. Definitely could be a concern with the lack of moisture, some areas have seen these last few years. The Devils Lake Basin is sitting pretty good now with the rain we have received in the last week and a half- rain totals about 2 inches.
 

Vollmer

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You are 100% right lunkerslayer. It's a shame that shelter belts keep getting removed.
 

Davey Crockett

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Both my parents were teenagers during the dirty thirtys and they used to talk about those days like it was yesterday, The drought left a lasting image of tough times in their minds as they both grew up on farms. It led to the planting of shelter belts that secured the topsoil till today but With all the shelter belts coming out and the land broke up section line to section line it's not a matter of IF history will repeat itself , Its a matter of when. I have drilled into quite a few spots in the RR Valley and 3 or 4 feet of topsoil is common. Other places in the state there is only an inch or two some is pure sand. It's just like watching the Bakken oil fields, Everyone says ohh it's different this time, It will never happen. The truth is it will happen, Just that people who have never lived it once believe it is impossible.


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lunkerslayer

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So what is the benefits of no till farming in North dakota, can it be the answer if we look to using more drain tile in the fields. Can this be a viable solution but with a price to pay with the use of more chemicals.
 


Kentucky Windage

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You can irrigate your soil with tile drainage. However I highly doubt you would be able to, nor would you want to irrigate your soil via tile drainage to the point of topsoil saturation. You would drown out your crop. You see conventional tillage in the valley because we have heavy clay soils. This is practiced to manage crop residue. Black soil warms up faster, dries out quicker and allows a farmer to get into the field earlier in the spring. When you move outside of the valley, we have lighter soils that do not retain soil moisture like heavier clay soils do. So with conventional tillage, you are opening up the lighter soils, drying them out and increasing the chances for soil erosion. This is why you see minimum or no till practiced because annual precip is much lower. You are trying to keep as much moisture in the soil for the growing season. This is just my take.
 

NDSportsman

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It's going to be a real issue if we see a long term drought like we did during the 80's. Just this spring there was plenty of dirt blowing around when we had our little dry spell. Even no-till or minimum till will do a whole lot of good if we have 1-2 years of drought.
 


gst

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Well it is obvious who has NOT found this site yet. ::: (like this icon thingy)

Anyways just a couple thoughts. The RRV will NOT lose it's top soil in 50 years. No reason not to try to manage soil erosion, but the "expert" is off a little there.

Outside of the RRV most land any more in ND is minimum or complete no till. The exception has been the last couple years trying to get rid of excess moisture that no one with any credibility can deny areas have dealt with. (plenty of pics of tractors and seeders ect buried in mud floating around the internet)

We had not owned a chisel plow or disk for many years but had to buy one 3 years ago just to try and get prevent plant ground into shape so we can get a crop on it to dry out the ground so we do not have to rely on an insurance program. We had ground that has not been cultivated for years, black just so no snow would be held and the sun could help dry it out this spring.

Definitely don;t like doing that but what is the best bet, do what it takes to get a crop in and risk soil blowing in the winter for one year or rely on an insurance program?

The prevent plant ground was just getting nice to seed into..............after 2.5 of rain (so far) it is going to be interesting again.

When it dries up and everyone is back to standing stubble and no till trying to conserve moisture, no one will remember what this "expert" said.

Tree rows? Lots of legitimate reasons for their removal. Many in our area are species that are dead or dying. Many were put in when "big" equipment was a 32 foot set of lla drills. Now 120 foot sprayers, 90 foot planters 60 foot air seeders many times the tree rows end up requiring large tacts of acres not to be planted in the spring becasue the equipment can not fit between the standing moisture from the melted snow the tree rows held and the tree row itself. Figure the cost of $40 an acre seed, $100 an acre fertilizer, $30 an acre spray on the size equipment listed above overlapping say 5 times @ 2 acres each overlap on a quarter section. Now with gps sectional control that is not such an issue, but not everyone is running the new equipment with that.

Now add that too say 5 acres per quarter that could not get seeded because of tree rows interfering time $300 net/acre. plus the 5 acres the tree rows take up themselves It is not out of the question to end up losing 3 - 4 grand a year from those tree rows. Times 10 quarters............. Maybe you make it up with additional moisture from snow retention maybe not. Wet years not.

I don;t like seeing them get taken out and we have planted far more than we have removed, but I understand why some people will do it especially on some of the lands they are on.
 

Riggen&Jiggen

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Kentucky and GST are correct. The other thing that I believe influence farming practices in the RRV are the big sugar companies. They pretty much dictate to the farmers how many acres of sugar beets are planted. The pressure the farmers receive from the sugar companies highly influence the farm practices. Hard to put a # on the years it will take for top soil to be gone. But agencies usually exaggerate to the general public to get support for their agendas. In the past farming was more of a way of life than a business. Now farming is more of a business than a way of life for most. Farming practices utilized today are a necessity to minimize risk and maximize profits. The only way you will see tree rows and grass come back is if state or federal gov. pony up with another program to compensate farmers for keeping acres out of production.
 

Allen

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They say we go in 7 year wet, 7 year dry cycles ... its coming

"They" would not be me. The cycle I have seen is roughly 22-25 yrs between the peaks (about 11-12 years at a time on each side of normal). Depending on one's opinion of "climate change or global warming", we are either just coming off the peak or we will continue to change. About the only part of the state that has a somewhat upward trend with respect to moisture going back about 90 years is the Souris River basin. The cycle is there too, but the peaks are higher and the valleys of the graphs not so low with each repetition.

One study I read stated there was about a 50% chance of a drought equivalent to the 30s and 40s to occur again before 2050. Or something like that, it was a few years ago I read it.
 

NDSportsman

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As to the no-till/minimum till goes what happens when you have a 2+ year drought and no crops grow? They're will be no stubble to stop wind erosion. Probably won't be too worried about that few thousand $'s lost to tree rows at that point. The cost analysis of going around tree rows or any natural habitat has always been rather funny to me. Farmers like to try to justify their actions yet you see many also weaving in and out of power line poles along the road, double seeding/fertilizing just to gain another few acres. Makes sense.:::

I get that some of the trees are dead and removal is the only option in some cases. Would like to see more taking advantage of NRSC programs and replace some of those either on edges and buffers along water sources.
 


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