2010 Feb. 18: WA Wa Lind, Ritzville & Washtucna (Adams County): Grade school essay winners on wind erosion (particulates in air)
February 18, 2010
Adams Conservation District fetes essay writers
Young authors from the Lind, Ritzville and Washtucna School Districts who submitted their literary works to the Adams Conservation District’s annual essay contest vied for top honors and accolades.
The Adams Conservation District Board of Supervisors met on Jan. 21, 2010, to review and judge essays submitted from the participating school districts.
A panel of nine reviewed a total of 43 entries – 24 from Ritzville, 16 from Lind and three from Washtucna. The essay contest topic this year for area sixth grade students was wind erosion and solutions for protecting the area.
The winning entrants were recognized during the 11th annual WSU Extension Research in the Dryland Cropping Area and Adams Conservation District meeting on Feb. 9 at the C.J. Newland American Legion Memorial Hall.
Essay winners include:
Lind – Taylor Kulm, first place; Dane Wahl, second; Alan Field, third
Ritzville – Holly Nygren, first place; Hallie Jo Galbreath, second; Madison Morley, third
Washtucna – Ashley Boyer, first place; Brittany Gordon, second; Jazlynn Webb, third
Field’s essay was chosen third overall while Wahl was named second and Kulm’s earned first place. Each of the three overall winners presented their essays during the February meeting.
Those essays are printed below.
By Taylor Kulm, Lind
Wind erosion is a common occurrence in Adams County. This fall I learned how bad wind erosion can be when I woke up to a thick layer of dust throughout the house. There was so much dust in the air that it was dark all day. Clearly, something must be done to decrease wind erosion. It occurs when dirt is light enough for wind to pick up and carry. There are several ways to decrease erosion including using crop residue and conservation tillage, wind strips and grass field borders.
By leaving crop residue, root systems from the crop will help hold the soil together. By using conservation tillage farmers minimize the tillages in an effort to prevent disrupting or breaking up the soil. This practice allows the soil to retain water and plant debris in order to protect the fragile top soils.
Wind strips are grass strips planted crosswise to the prevailing wind. They are used to help decrease the affect of the wind on the soil. The grass strips protect the fragile soil from strong winds.
Grass field borders are grass strips planted around the perimeter of the field that help protect the soil on the field edge. Soil on the edge of the field is more fragile.
It is important that we take actions to reduce wind erosion because of the negative effects it causes like health problems. By using methods such as crop residue and conservation tillage, wind strips and grass field borders, farmers can reduce wind erosion in a fairly inexpensive way.
Managing Wind Erosion
By Dane Wahl, Lind
Wind erosion in Adams County is a big problem. We don’t have to learn about it in school, we see it every day. What do we do to help it? Well, I am going to tell you what my family does.
My family and I are dry land wheat farmers. When it is almost harvest time, it is easy to manage wind erosion because the plants hold the ground together. The way they do this is the root systems hold the dirt together.
When harvest is over, we leave residue (stubble) behind and this is part of residue management. It’s through the practice management that we are able to control soil erosion.
Residue management is a yearly practice that involves ground that is producing now and ground that will produce next year.
When it is time to seed, we try to keep as much residue on the ground as possible. This helps to keep the ground from blowing. When we get a good stand of wheat the wheat plants will then hold the soil together and prevent it from blowing.
Wind erosion can be prevented with good farming practices and education. Using these farming techniques we are helping to prevent wind erosion on our farm in Lind, Washington.
By Alan Field, Lind
Wind erosion is a big problem in the world today. It’s in many parts of the world. Wind erosion is definitely in Adams County.
What causes dust? Many things cause dust. It comes from machines at construction sites, it comes from farm equipment and dust storms.
Where does dust collect? Dust collects everywhere. It collects on sides of roads, from cars, industries, construction sites and landfills, most importantly the Dust Bowl. In the 1930s, a dry spell culminated in dust storms. The Dust Bowl inflicted people and land. That’s what can happen if we don’t reduce the dust.
Another part of the dust problem is PM-10, particulate matter pollution. It’s consisted of very small liquid and solid particles floating in the air, about 10 microns in diameter.
PM-10’s about one-seventh the size of a piece of human hair. PM-10 comes from construction sites, landfills and open farmland. PM-10 makes view hazy. PM-10 also affects our health. It causes asthma, allergies and lung disease.
Farmers can do a lot to reduce dust. They could get crop canopy covers, or plant more trees around your land. Other people that can help is the government. The government could lower taxes so farmers have more money to buy equipment. Another thing the government could do is plant trees.
Whose responsible to fix the dust problem? Everyone is responsible. We can do a lot to stop this problem. We can drive slow on dirt surfaces, or stop travel on days with poor air quality.