The Importance of Soil Conservation

The Importance of Soil Conservation
Posted on 03/28/2019

The Importance of Soil Conservation

By Dessa Nicholson, Rural Development Coordinator, Saddle Hills County

The sun is out and spring is here! There are still areas of the County with a lot of snow remaining however, water is flowing and the potential for soil erosion is here!  Did you know that the top inch of your topsoil takes over 500 years to make depending on your zone? The erosion of topsoil can result in lower fertility affecting productivity and ultimately profitability.  Soil lost from farm production can also cause water quality issues – nutrients, pesticide and pathogens can attach to soil and move into surrounding water bodies.

In Alberta, the Soil Conservation Act was put into place to prevent soil loss and deterioration from occurring. The Act delegates authority to local municipalities (Saddle Hills County) and outlines the powers and duties of the designated officers. Over the past 30 years we have seen significant improvement in reducing soil erosion in the Prairies due to land-use practices such a reduced tillage.

It is important for producers to be diligent in managing their lands; the same practices that increase organic matter lower soil erosion risk!

Tips:

- Reduce tillage in areas prone to flooding

- Leaving stubble in the field until spring

- Plant cover crops

- Seeding/plant grass barrier around field edge

If you have any questions please contact myself, Dessa Nicholson @ Saddle Hills County!

Have a safe and productive seeding season!