North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
1133 State Avenue, Dickinson, ND 58601 Voice: (701) 483-2348 FAX: (701) 483-2005


Effect of Erosion on Crop Yields on Major Soil Associations
in Western North Dakota

Larry J. Cihacek
NDSU Soil Science Department

and

Tom Conlon
Dickinson Research Center

A study was established in 1987 on Section 24 of the Ranch Headquarters of the Dickinson Research Center on soils mapped as a Cabba-Amor association. Areas of slightly, moderately or severely eroded soil were identified and characterized based on topsoil loss compared to series type description. Samples were collected from 0-6", 6-12", 12-18", 18-24", 24-36" and 36-48" depth increments for characterization for pH, organic matter total N, NO3--N, cabonates, texture available water holding capacity bulk density and hydraulic conductivity. Annually, each erosion site was sampled in spring and fall toa  depth of 48" for determination of soil moisture and NO3 -N levels. This sutdy was concluded in 1990.

Yield data for each erosion level were collected for barley and either corn or sudangrass in each year of the study from 3 subplots at each erosion level. Table 1 shows barley grain and straw yields for each year and for a 4-year average. The severe erosion site generally gave significantly lower grain yields than the moderately or slightly eroded sites. Although significant differences were not generally noted between erosion levels for straw yields, the numerical trends were similar to grain yields. The general yield relationships for barley grain and straw were slight > moderate > severe erosion.

similar observations were made for corn and sudangrass dry matter yield with the severely eroded site generally giving significantly lower yields than the moderately or lightly eroded sites (Table 2). The general yield relationships for corn or sudangrass dry matter production were slight > moderate > severe erosion.

 

Table 1. Erosion effects on barley grain and straw yields. Ranch Headquarters, Dickinson Research Center.

 

Grain Yields 1

Straw Yields 1

Erosion
level
1987 1988 1989 1990 4-year average Percent of maximum yield 1987 1988 1989 1990  4-year average Percent of maximum yield
 

----------------------------------bu/A-------------------------------------

----------------------------------bu/A-------------------------------------

Slight

Moderate

Severe

27.6b

14.7a

14.9a

4.6b

5.2b

1.5a

37.7b

24.0ab

19.0a

40.5b

27.4a

26.8a

27.6b

17.8ab

15.5a

100

67

56

998b

584a

560a

739a

516a

322a

2338a

1950a

1395a

3202a

3006a

3367a

1819a

1514a

1411a

100

83

78

1 Values followed by the same lette within a given yea (column) are not significantly different at p<0.05 as determined by LSD.

Table 2. Erosion effects on corn or sudangrass dry-matter production. Ranch Headquarters, Dickinson Research Center.

Corn
Dry Matter Yield1

Sudangrass
Dry Matter Yield1
Erosion level 1987 1988 1990 3-yr Average 1989
Slight

Moderate

Severe

8560b

5632ab

3951a

982b

437a

453a

1628b

1072ab

677a

3730b

2380a

1695a

2337b

1274b

494a

1 Values followed by the same lette within a given yea (column) are not significantly different at p<0.05 as determined by LSD.

 

Available Water to 4 ft - Dickinson, ND

Total Water to 4 ft - Dickinson, ND

Dickinson Soil Water Summary