The risk of erosion in Brazilian cultivated pastures

Dimensão dos impactos causados pela erosão nas pastagens brasileiras

Pastures are normally associated with minor erosion problems because of their efficient soil cover. Soil cover is without doubt the most effective inter-rill and rill erosion control practice. However, considering the frequency at which pastures are replanted in Brazil and their enormous territorial extension (178 million hectares) we identify that extensive areas, usually covered by pastures, will remain bare, intensively tilled, and without complementary mechanical soil control practices. The pasture area is equivalent to that occupied by most important Brazilian annual crops (corn or soybeans), that are usually cultivated under no-tillage or supported by governmental soil conservation programs. The precise assessment of these impacts, caused by the estimated 10 million hectares of the yearly replanted pastures is unknown, and there is lack of scientific knowledge to suggest an adequate solution. This is, probably, the greatest challenge of Brazilian soil conservation and for an adequate resolution, will require a joint effort of researchers, technicians, educators and stakeholders.

environmental impact; soil conservation research

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