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Planned grazing systems return more than they cost. Proper range management not only protects the soil by preventing overgrazing but also helps insure the continued productivity of pasture and rangeland. In addition, well-managed rangeland is better able to withstand the effects of drought and thus enables a rancher to better maintain his livestock during extended dry spells without resorting to costly emergency measures.
Conservation tillage is gaining popularity throughout the country. This relatively new practice saves fuel, reduces erosion, and cuts field work. The Lyon County, Kentucky, field pictured is shown immediately after a four inch rain. Little erosion damage is evident.
This is a cropland field in Henry County, Alabama, where erosion and resulting sedimentation occurred due to farming up and down the slope with no conservation measures applied. In 1977, sheet and rill erosion on cropland alone totaled almost 2 billion tons. Half of this total was excess erosion -- that
which occurred at rates above those that soils can tolerate without affecting their long-term productive potential.
This shows a seeded wheat field in the Palouse of Washington State that lost 200 tons of soil per acre during one rain storm.
Nowhere in the Nation has soil and sediment erosion been greater over time than