Extreme wind causes soil erosion concerns in Alberta’s agriculture industry

Canada Global (Web News) Parts of southern Alberta’s soil are under risk of erosion due to freeze-thaw cycles, strong wind, and dry weather.

According to Gurbir Dhillon, a research scientist with Farming Smarter, “we recognise it as probably one of the largest difficulties that southern Alberta agriculture — or agriculture in general on the Canadian prairies — is facing.

Topsoil is a precious natural resource in Dhillion’s opinion. He said that dirt forms over the course of hundreds to thousands of years.

“If we lose it, we lose soil fertility, which lowers our potential output and decreases the value of the farms,” said Dhillon.

Specifically focusing at fall-seeded cover cropping under dryland and irrigated systems, helping to keep the soil covered and trap extra nitrogen in the fields, Farming Smarter is in the first of a five-year research project called Saving Soils.

The necessity for a follow-up crop that can anchor the soils is particularly important for irrigated systems after high-disturbance crops like potatoes and sugar beets, according to Dhillon.
Conservation tillage and growing winter crops like winter wheat are further methods of preventing erosion.

It will do many of the same tasks that covered crops do, in addition to generating some cash, according to Dhillon.

Carla Preachuk, an agricultural fieldman for the MD of Willow Creek, cautions that erosion is a problem for everyone and that we are now entering a season when it may get worse.

Being a neighbour is a major problem; nobody wants their home to be filled with the dirt of their neighbour, according to Preachuk. I am aware that the NRCB receives several complaints about these issues each year.

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