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Northwest Wind Erosion BMP Handbook

Controlling cropland wind erosion and blowing dust has been an agricultural issue on the Northwest Columbia Plateau ever since farming began in the region some 120 years ago. Farmers and researchers have continually sought better ways to reduce wind erosion. Early on, the main concern with wind erosion was loss of topsoil and the subsequent decline in soil quality and productivity. Today, however, farmers are also facing increasing public pressure to reduce wind erosion because of its adverse effects on air quality in downwind urban areas.

The AColumbia Plateau Wind Erosion Air Quality Project@ was initiated in 1993 to identify the factors involved in the region=s cropland wind erosion and air quality problems, and develop effective control management strategies. It is a large, interagency and interdisciplinary research and educational program involving a number state and federal agencies, NW land grant universities, grower organizations, conservation districts and the Ag industry.

AFarming with the Wind -- Best Management Practices for Controlling Wind Erosion and Air Quality on Columbia Plateau Cropland,@ is a 72-page color Handbook that was published November 1998 as Washington State University Cooperative Extension bulletin MISC0208. It was developed under the Columbia Plateau Project and represents the first step in helping growers reduce cropland wind erosion to preserve soil productivity and address air quality impacts from windblown dust.

The Handbook was prepared by 20 contributing authors and reviewers, with Dr. Robert Papendick, retired USDA-ARS Soil Scientist serving as lead author and editor. Funding for the Handbook was provided by WSU Cooperative Extension, WA Dept. of Ecology, Washington Wheat Commission, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, USDA-Cooperative States Research, Extension and Education Service, and US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Handbook contains 9 chapters: 1) Why the Need for This Handbook; 2) Some Facts about Wind Erosion and Its Control; 3) Profile of the Columbia Plateau; 4) Managing Soil Cover and Roughness; 5) Best Management Practices for Dryland Farms; 6) Best Management Practices for Irrigated Farms; 7) Best Management Practices for Both Dryland and Irrigated Farms; 8) Economic Considerations in Wind Erosion Control; and 9) Putting it Together: Expecting Outcomes from Using Best Management Practices.

Copies of the Handbook MISC0208 are available FREE from WSU through the toll free number 1-800-723-1763, or by mail from: Bulletins Office, Cooperative Extension, Washington State University, P.O. Box 645912, Pullman, WA 99164-5912.


Contact us: Hans Kok, (208)885-5971 | Accessibility | Copyright | Policies | WebStats | STEEP Acknowledgement
Hans Kok, WSU/UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist, UI Ag Science 231, PO Box 442339, Moscow, ID 83844 USA
Redesigned by Leila Styer, CAHE Computer Resource Unit; Maintained by Debbie Marsh, Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences, WSU