May 26, 2006 -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced that according to USDA's National Resources Inventory (NRI), a statistical survey of natural resource conditions and trends on non-federal land, total soil erosion on cultivated and non-cultivated cropland in the United States decreased 43 percent between 1982 and 2003, sheet and rill erosion decreased 42 percent and wind erosion decreased 44 percent.
"This remarkable decrease in soil erosion can be attributed to the extraordinary efforts by America's private landowners to conserve and protect agricultural lands," said Johanns. "This report underscores the value of cooperative conservation through partnerships with our farmers and ranchers, who are among the best stewards of the land."
Nationwide, sheet and rill erosion, which is the removal of layers of soil by rainfall and runoff, on cropland dropped from 4 tons per acre per year in 1982 to 2.6 tons per acre per year in 2003. Wind erosion rates also dropped from 3.3 tons to 2.1 tons per acre per year.
For more information on the results of the cropland erosion study, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI.
Reprinted in part for USDA