Narrow Grass Hedge Effects on Runoff and Soil Loss
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation , 55 , 2000

Gilley, J.E., Eghball, B., Kramer, L.A., Moorman, T.B.

This rainfall simulation study provided information on the effects of 0.72 m (2.4 ft) wide switchgrass hedges located at the bottom of plots on runoff and soil loss under both no-till and tilled conditions. The study area, which had slopes ranging from 8 to 16%, had produced corn for 33 years and the grass hedges had been established for six years. Simulated rainfall [64 mm hr−1 (2.5 in hr-1)I was applied for two hours to plots (3.7 m (12 ft) wide by 10.7 m (35.1 ft) long/with corn residue and to plots where corn residue was removed. The narrow grass hedges substantially reduced runoff and soil loss. Under no-till conditions, the plots with corn residue and pass hedges averaged 52% less runoff and 53% less soil loss tban similar plots without grass hakes. Under tilled conditions, the plots with corn residue and grass hedges averaged 22% less runoff and 57% Less soil loss than comparable plots without grass hedges. The plots with corn residue removed but with grass hedges present averaged 41 % less runoff and 63% less soil loss than similar plots without grass hedges. Narrow grass hedges are an effective conservation measure, especially when used in conjunction with such conservation practices as no-till or reduced-till firming systems.