Wind Erosion

Wind erosion is a seasonal issue, particularly in medium to low rainfall areas where the main landuse are annual crops and pastures that leave paddocks bare and susceptible over warm dry summers and early autumn.

Vulnerability Symptoms

Three conditions cause damaging wind erosion when combined:

1. Insufficient ground cover (less than 50% of cover by stable stubble, pasture residue or gravel);
2. Loose dry soil at the surface; and
3. Wind strong enough to remove sand (above 28 km/h).

Solutions

Reduce soil disturbance from tilling, vehicle and animal movements especially in hot, dry and windy conditions. Retaining more than 50% attached ground cover, particularly over summer significantly reduces soil erodability.

Further Reading

Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD). Accessed 26/04/2018. ‘Wind Erosion.’ https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-land-water/soils/managing-soils/wind-erosion

DPIRD. 2017. ‘Wind erosion control after fire.’ https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/fire/wind-erosion-control-after-fire

State of NSW and Office of Environment and Heritage (Cth). 2017. Wind Erosion Assessment for National Landcare Program: Report to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ag-food/wind-erosion-assessment.pdf