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

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.


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.