Effect of continuous production of cotton on soil in Texas
Soil conservation involves management strategies that help in the prevention of soil from being eroded from the earth’s surface. Soil conservation also prevents the soil from being chemically poisoned by activities such as acidification, overuse, salinization and other chemical related contaminations. Water conservation involves the strategies, activities and policies put in place to manage fresh quality water. In Texas, dust bowl region, the continuous production of cotton in the early twentieth century and the nineteenth century had a devastating effect the soil around the region.
It is shown in records that, between the years 1926 and 1937, the portion of land that was used for production of cotton lost an average of seven tonnes of soil on each acre. Corn was also grown at this time and, their situation was worse. Growth of corns accounted for over ten tons loss of soil per acre of the land. Erosion in Texas was a national crisis in the 1930s. Soil Conservation service was then established by the Congress, an effort to combat the problem of soil erosion. The establishment of this service developed and carried out a permanent water and soil conservation program. Local districts were established within Texas under the Texas Soil Conservation Law of 1939 in order to implement these conservation programs. A governing body of five local land owners was established to administer districts. A total of sixty-five districts worked together under the soil conservation service to improve the condition of soil and water.
Methods of soil and water conservation
Several methods were employed and are still being used in Texas. These methods are advertising for crop rotation in Texas, providing informational and educational programs and designing long term plans of soil and water conservation. Crop’s rotation is a good method of conserving the soil because it prevents nutrients from being overused in one piece of land. Continuous planting of cotton in Texas can be described as monocropping that is not a good system of planting crops over a long period of time. Funding of these projects and programs came from private contributions, district earnings and state operations. A survey conducted in Texas showed that the five top problems that contributed to soil and water problems included water erosion on cropland, wind erosion on cropland, improper grazing management and undesirable weeds and bush.
Importance of soil and water conservation
Soil and water conservation is extremely important to the human life because in order to sustain life, there must be both soil and water. Water is a necessity of all the living things on earth therefore, conserving water means maintaining the lives of all living creatures. Aquatic life is so ideal to all human beings and the economy of the country. In order to maintain this life, we need to conserve the water, we have so that in case of drought aquatic life is maintained. Soil conservation is crucial. In order to get any form of crop from the farm our soils must be well aerated, must have correct soil nutrients, we must control leaching of nutrients from the soil and the amount of acids that are absorbed. If all these practises are put in place, our soils in Texas will continue to produce wonderful results.
Soil and water conservation. Irving, Tex.: Boys Scouts of America, 2004. Print.
Stallings, James Henry. Soil conservation. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1957. Print.