Lenvain, Pauwelyn & Chinene


Preliminary Results on Measuring Soil-Loss at the University of Zambia Farm, by J.S. Lenvain, P.L. Pauwelyn and V.R.N. Chinene, Zambia Journal of Science * Tecnology, Vol.8, no.1, September 1989, Pg.10-19


A few years ago, the countries participating in the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) started a regional programme on soil and water conservation. It was observed that soil-loss even on small slopes was considerable and that this process was the starting point of an irreversible decline in crop productivity. Zambia recently initiated some research to understand and ultimately control water erosion. Activities currently being undertaken include: production of an erosivity map, the preparation of a tentative erosion hazard map, conducting field tests and an assessment of soil-loss for land evaluation purpose.

This paper reports and evaluates a first set of results obtained from field tests. The run-off plot technique and the universal soil-loss equation (U.S.L.E) have been used. Movement of materials has been studied studied under four different treatment: no vegetation, maize, sunflower and soyabean. Finally, improvements on the technique of soil-loss and run-off harvesting are proposed. On the bare plot, having a slop of 2.5%, soil-loss was found to be 12.7 ton/ha per year. Under a maize cover, soil-loss was still as high as 7.8 ton/ha per year. Therefore, it is felt that under the given circumstances, careful management should be considered.

Keywords: Soil-loss, USLE, runoff-plot technique, erosivity, crop factors, Oxic Paleustalf, UNZA-farm.

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