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Downtown Dirt Pile Dramatizes Soil Loss
A huge truckload of black dirt was dumped in a parking lot in downtown Madison, County Seat of Lake County in Southeastern South Dakota, to dramatize the costly results of wind and water erosion.
The 8-ton pile represents the average topsoil loss on sloping land in Lake County. A 5-ton loss is considered tolerable.
"Our demonstration has attracted a lot of attention," says Lucille Miller, secretary of the Lake County Conservation District which put together the display. A brochure highlighting it invited area farmers and other residents to "drive by the 8-ton dirt pile to see just how much soil is lost per acre on sloping land which hasn't had conservation applied to it. Look at this pile of valuable black dirt, then ask yourself Can we afford to lose it?"
Miller notes that Lake County has about 276,000 acres of cropland so the loss of soil annually from wind and water erosion is over 2.2 million tons. Multiplied by 2,000 lbs. per ton, the total become almost astronomical over 4.4 billion lbs. of land blown and washed away every year, Miller points out.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #4