The effects of cover crops on soil erosion
Owen Anstess, Bradley Byrd
200 Environmental Science
Liberty Ranch FFA
Part 1 - Introduction
Background: A cover crop is a crop that is not harvested, but is grown to benefit the soil and other crops in a number of ways. Cover crop benefits include : reduced soil erosion which is when the soil erodes because of it not being strong enough to handle weather conditions and other pest; also some other benefits are improved soil quality, reduced weed pressure and reduced insects. Cover crops are grown during or between primary cropping seasons. They are versatile and easily adapted to conventional, low-input and organic field crop ecosystems. There are many cover crop species like the Legume and Non-Legume species.
Need for study: What are the economics of using cover crops in field crop systems? Initial studies conducted at Kellogg Biological Station compared continuos corn to first year corn following frost-seeded red clover in wheat. These studies have shown a $40/A gross return minus costs when cover crops were incorporated into a crop rotation. Also cover crops help in agriculture by giving farmers the measured amount of how much water is running out of the soil and what to do with those results.
Independent Variable: Soil A-E
Dependent Variable: Amount of water runoff in ounces
Control or Contrast: The amount of water applied
Number of Repetitions: This can be performed as many times as possible
Hypothesis: If water was poured into six defferent types of soils, then the least dense soil will have the most water runoff.
Part 2 – Methodology
1. Put the 4ft by 2ft ply wood at a 45 degree slant
2. Screw (5) 2 ft pieces of rain gutter with an inch of space between each one and with an inch of rain gutter hanging off the bottom
3. Take the cactus mix soil and pour 5 cups into one of the gutter
4. Pour 5 cups of the African violet soil into one gutter
5. Pour 5 cups of the regular...