The top 6-8" of soil (or topsoil) is uniquely able to support plant and microbial life. But topsoil can be depleted by wind or water erosion and poor management, leading to lower productivity and environmental issues. Erosion continues to be a Critical Concern in Ohio to support healthy soils and water quality.
Minimal disturbance – Using fewer tillage events, or at least lighter ones, will keep soil aggregates intact to slow the breakdown of organic matter and help prevent wind erosion.
Constant cover – Always keep something on your soil surface to provide protection from rain impact and wind. This can include crop residues and mulch, but the best and most effective covers involve roots in the ground, which also contribute to soil organic matter and biological activity.
Water management – Precipitation patterns are changing in many areas. Be sure your fields have effective ways to handle excess water such as appropriate tile drainage, grassed waterways, or drainage ditches. Poor water management will also cause trouble with fertility and regional water quality. Farmers in the Lake Erie Basin may have access to financial assistance for water management improvements through H2Ohio or other programs.
Surrounding vegetation – Windbreaks and riparian zones can offer protection from windy conditions and rising waterway levels.
BMPs to Address Erosion
(from AgBMPs Critical Concerns site https://agbmps.osu.edu/critical-concerns)
Description of Critical Concern
Potential BMP Solutions