Experiment Station Record, Volume 92, January-June, 1945 Page: 18
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18 EXPERIMENT STATION RECORD [Vol. 92
The station was established to serve the central Piedmont problem area, extending
from central Virginia to the southern South Carolina-Georgia boundary, in which
the Cecil soil series comprises approximately two-thirds of the area. Cotton, corn,
and tobacco are the leading crops grown in the area. Approximately one-third of
the total land area is used as active cropland. Small farm units predominate, and
more than one-half the farms are operated by tenants or, sharecroppers'. The
average annual rainfall at Statesville is 50 in. Thunderstorms are the predominanttype
of storms during the summer, but winter rains are usually of long duration
and low intensity. A reconnaissance survey, made in 1934, showed 39 percent of
the area to be moderately to severely eroded and 29 percent more to have suffered
appreciable erosion. Out" of the total area damagd by erosion, 18 percent was affected
by gullying and 3.35 percent of the total land area had been abandoned because of
erosion. Investigations into the causes and consequences of erosion and methods
for its control were conducted on plots of various sizes, fields, and terraced and
natural watersheds. Meteorological records were kept of the amount, duration, and
intensity of each individual storm.
Control plot studies showed that runoff and soil losses were directly related to
rainfall intensity, but the magnitude of loss was modified by such other factors as
soil type, soil moisture, state of cultivation, degree and length of slope, and extent
of protective cover on the soil. Runoff and soil losses under good vegetal cover
composed of sod or woods were of negligible quantities throughout the period of
record. Burning of woods litter increased runoff and soil losses to seriously large
quantities. A 4-yr. rotation of cotton, corn, wheat, and lespedeza decreased the soil
losses to less than one-half that of continuous cotton. Cotton in the rotation lost 70
percent and lespedeza but 4 percent as much soil as continuous cotton. 'The reduced
soil losses from areas under crop rotations demonstrate the protective effects of crop
cover and organic residue for land planted to row crops. Little difference was
recorded in the runoff and soil losses from desurfaced and normal topsoil plots
cropped to continuous cotton. Fertilizer applications annually, and a 2-yr. rotation
of cotton and corn in which cowpeas were included, reduced soil losses on the desurfaced
plots to approximately one-half that of continuous cotton on desurfaced
A comparison of terraces of different lengths shows that the soil and water losses
were practically the same for the 1,700- and 2,000-ft. lengths but considerably less
for the 1,400-ft. length. Results from terraces with different vertical intervals indicate
that, for best results, the intervals should be approximately 4 ft. For the
experimental field F, with land slope of 8-10 percent and a channel grade of 3 in.,
the losses decreased when the interval was reduced to 2 ft., but increased when the
interval was increased to, 6 ft..
Terrace B-5, with a 6-in. uniform grade, lost approximately 3 times as much
soil and 50 percent more water than B-4 with a uniform grade of 3 in.- Terraces
D-3, with 6-in. grade, and D-2, with a 9-in. grade, lost decidedly more soil and
water than those with 3-in. grades. Terrace D-4, with a variable grade of 0-6 in.,
and D-3, with a uniform grade of 3 in., showed about the same losses. A terrace
with 6-in. uniform grade showed 20 percent greater soil loss than the variable grade
of 0-6 in. Terrace profile studies indicate that maintenance practices have tended
to shift the ridge up the slope to a slight extent.
The results of experiments conducted on the station farm are interpreted in terms
applicable to the central Piedmont area.
Some factors affecting the establishment of perennial grass for erosion control
in eastern Colorado, J. L. FULTS. (U. S. D. A. coop. Colo. Expt. Sta.).
(Jour. Amer. Soc. Agron., 36 (1944), No. 7, pp. 615-625, illus. 4).-Although the
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U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Administration. Office of Experiment Stations. Experiment Station Record, Volume 92, January-June, 1945, book, 1947; Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5064/m1/31/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.