Thursday, March 9, 2017

Soil Conservation Terraces

This was at the Gade farm east of Seward in 1953 during the Grange/Soil Conservation District Field Day. The Day consisted of showing the construction of terraces, dams, waterways, and various Soil and Water Conservation practices. This pictures shows terraces being built with Servis Co., Whirlwind Terraces. I was working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service at the time and had helped with the surveying of the practices. My brother Don is on the Oliver tractor with the closest terrace.
This view shows the Whirlwind throwing the soil up into a ridge that will become a gradient terrace. Row crops are planted on the contour between the terraces. Some of the terraces that were built back in the 50's are still in existence, but many have been rebuilt with tile outlets and some have been rebuilt parallel to prevent "point rows". Other practices such as no-till, cover crops, etc., have demonstrated success in reducing soil erosion, but in many instances, a system of terraces is still necessary to limit the rate of soil erosion to not exceed 5 tons/acre/year.

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