Soil and water losses due to agricultural mismanagement are high and non-sustainable in many orchards. An experiment was setup using rainfall simulation experiments at 78 mm h-1 over one hour on 20 paired plots of 2 m2 (bare and straw covered) in new persimmon plantations in Eastern Spain. The effects of a straw cover on the control of soil and water losses was assessed. An addition of 60% straw cover (75 g m-2) resulted in delayed ponding and runoff generation and as a consequence reduced water losses from 60 to 13% of the total rainfall. The straw cover reduced raindrop impact and as a consequence sediment detachment from 1,014 to 47 g per plot in one hour. The erosion rate was reduced from 5.1 to 0.2 Mg ha-1 h-1. The straw mulch was found to be extremely efficient in reducing soil erosion rates.
Cerda, A., Gonzalez-Pelayo, O., Gimelnez-Morera, A., Jordan, A., Pereira, P., Novara, A., Brevik, E. C., Prosdocimi, M., Mahmoodabadi, M., Keesstra, S. D., Garcia Orenes, F., & Ritsema, C. J. (2016). The use of barley straw residues to avoid high erosion and runoff rates on persimmon plantations in Eastern Spain under low frequency-high magnitude simulated rainfall events. Soil Research, 54(2), 154-165. https://doi.org/10.1071/SR15092