Oklahoma State University


Soil Erosion ControlSoil Erosion Control - Switchgrass - Plant & Soil Sciences

Planting switchgrass on croplands dramatically reduces soil erosion potential compared to annual row crops. The perennial nature of the crop provides for year-round protection of the soil surface from erosive forces of wind and rainfall after it is established. This is especially true for marginal land, which can be highly erosive.

During establishment, care should be taken to minimize soil erosion. Switchgrass seedlings require one to two weeks to emerge, even under ideal conditions. This presents a real possibility of excessive soil erosion if sufficient residue is not maintained during establishment. Therefore, it is recommended some crop residue remain on top of the seedbed for erosion control. Furthermore, success with direct seeding of switchgrass into previous crop stubble has been reported, which would provide for optimum erosion control during establishment. Utilization of a non-competitive companion crop with switchgrass also provides for erosion control and may provide a level of weed suppression.

Document Actions