Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dust storms: New way to undercut dust emissions

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
There is literally a way to undercut dust emissions in the very driest parts of the Pacific Northwest's Columbia Plateau region, according to an agricultural scientist.

A new ARS study has found that undercutter tillage can reduce massive soil loss as seen here where three inches of a potato stem was exposed after a 2010 dust storm in southeastern Washington State.
Credit: Brenton Sharratt

There is literally a way to undercut dust emissions in the very driest parts of the Pacific Northwest's Columbia Plateau region, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist.

Related Articles


Brenton Sharratt, research leader at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Land Management and Water Conservation Research Unit in Pullman, Wash., found that undercutting is a promising conservation tillage technique on fallow fields. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

An undercutter has wide, overlapping, V-shaped steel blades. Pulled by a tractor, the blades slice beneath the soil surface and gently lift and set down the uppermost layer in place. This severs weed roots without inverting the soil as a plow does.

Wind-blown soil particles or particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter, known as PM10, are an air quality concern in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the United States. Sharratt's experiments show that undercutting to a depth of 4 inches can reduce PM10 emissions by 30 to 70 percent compared to conventional tillage.

Dust storms also harm farm productivity.

Undercutting is one of many possible practices being identified by Sharratt as cost-effective ways to reduce wind erosion in the Columbia Plateau region. Both tillage and crop choices influence soil roughness, the size of soil clods, and the amount of post-harvest crop residue. The rougher the soil surface, the bigger the clods, and the more residue, the less susceptible the soil is to erosion by wind or water. Sharratt found that undercutter tillage creates an aerodynamically rougher soil surface and promotes retention of crop residue.

Read more about this research, which supports the USDA commitment to sustainable agriculture, in the July 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Sharratt and Guanglong Feng, with Washington State University's Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Pullman, have published pioneering papers on this subject in the journals Soil & Tillage Research and Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Dust storms: New way to undercut dust emissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120712.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, July 14). Dust storms: New way to undercut dust emissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120712.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Dust storms: New way to undercut dust emissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120712.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins