The effects of wind and water erosion on the sustainability of prairie soils.
The impact of erosion on soil sustainability is difficult to evaluate. A modelling system was developed which attempts to address this issue at a scale of 1:1m for policy analysis and program targeting. The system combines erosion estimates from the Universal Soil Loss Equation and the Wind Erosion Equation and passes the results through the SimPLE model to evaluate the effects on wheat yields. Final results are displayed using a GIS. Application of the modelling system to evaluate the long term sustainability of Prairie soils under rotations and tillage practices employed in 1996 is discussed. Results indicate that annual cropland in many polygons of the Brown Soil Zone of Saskatchewan could reach an uneconomic yield threshold within 100 years. Soils in the Black and Gray Soil Zones may be aggrading. Conservation tillage systems could significantly enhance the sustainability of Prairie soils.
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