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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. 41(4): 989-994. (doi: 10.13031/2013.17271) @1998
Authors:   X. C. Zhang, W. P. Miller, M. A. Nearing, L. D. Norton
Keywords:   Soil amendment, Surface sealing, Water infiltration, Interrill erosion

Surface treatment influences the nature and extent of seal/crust formation, which affects runoff and erosion. This study evaluated the effects and longevity of soil amendments, tillage, and screen cover on runoff and interrill erosion on a Cecil sandy loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludult) under natural rainfall conditions. Six field plots (3.5 0.9 m) with a slope of 0.06-m m1 were used in the study. Three treatments (control, screen cover, crust-breaking shallow tillage) were studied in duplicate in the first two-month period, and another three (control, anionic polyacrylamide (PAM), and phosphogypsum) in a subsequent five-month period. Total runoff and soil loss were 69, 61, and 47 mm and 5.3, 1.6, and 4.3 Mg ha1 for the control, screen cover, and tillage treatments, respectively. Compared with control, screen cover reduced soil loss significantly but not runoff, while tillage reduced runoff more than soil loss. Total runoff and soil loss for the control, gypsum, and PAM treatments were 146, 48, and 81 mm and 3.1, 2.6, and 2.5 Mg ha1, respectively. Runoff was reduced by 67% and 44% for the gypsum and PAM relative to control and soil loss by 16% and 19%, showing gypsum and PAM were more effective in reducing runoff than soil loss. Runoff was significantly reduced in the gypsum and PAM treatments in the five months following surface application. Results showed screen cover and tillage temporally reduced or delayed seal/crust formation, while the effects of gypsum and PAM were more persistent. Combined with earlier findings, it appears that a combination of physical and chemical treatments is the best practice for controlling surface sealing and reducing runoff and erosion on this soil.

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