The Dirt on Dirt
Improved farming practices and soil conservation measures in the U.S. have significantly reduced soil erosion problems, according to a study published in today’s issue of the journal Science. Stanley Trimble of the University of California at Los Angeles conducted a 26-year study of an area in Wisconsin and found that the soil erosion rate there has steadily declined for decades and is now 6 percent of what it was in the 1930s. Trimble believes his findings apply to most of the U.S., and the Midwest in particular, where soil is now largely staying put and what is eroding isn’t going far. His findings contradict several studies conducted in the last 25 years that found that aggressive farming was causing serious erosion problems.