So what’s the first thing you notice that’s happening here? Look on the back here, on this white backsplash. You see when those raindrops come down, it’s
like it creates an explosion and anything that doesn’t have good structure is dislodged
and splashes up on the back there. So not only is the water running off, and
not getting down to the plant roots, what is the water taking with it?Your top soil. It’s taking your top soil.
It’s probably also taking what?Your nutrients. Your nutrients. And where are those nutrients going?Into the watershed. Into the watershed and so is the sediment. So usually this surprises people. Usually people think, oh, if I’ve worked that ground up, it’s all fluffy and so water is just going to go right in. How many of you were surprised at how this
has gone? Is anybody surprised?I wasn’t.But I would have been 5, 10 years ago. Let’s talk about the runoff. How about this no-till dryland? How much runoff did we get over here? Not a lot. And we know that the residue plays a huge
part in that. And that’s really going to buffer the impact
of those raindrops. And it’s going to allow the water to soak
in at a slower rate. How about our reduced till irrigated that
we’re going to go visit a little later? Similar, actually. You know, they had some runoff.Maybe a little bit darker
in color. Did we not capture all of this?
There’s a hole in the jug. It was about like this much runoff. So you’ll have to trust me on that. I think you all saw that, right? This allows us to see the sediment better.
But we got quite a bit of runoff of our tilled irrigated from just down the road. This is a silty clay soil. Let’s compare our poor range to our good range. Poor range here. Wow. Look at that. You’d have expected a little bit more to go
in. And I’m a little bit surprised on this good
range. I would have expected more to go in. So, I’m not sure exactly what’s happening
there, but it is less runoff than the poor range. Now what we want to look at is infiltration. Ok, now this makes me beel better about our
good range and our poor range. On the same soil type, this is what infiltrated
on our good rangelands. Same soil type, this is what infiltrated on
our poor rangeland. You get the same amount of water coming from the sky, but you may not be actually capturing that water. What happened here? Maybe it was all, oh yeah, there was no infiltration. That’s right. That’s what happened here. So, it sealed up, right? No water could even get to the roots. We got, you know, what? An inch and a tenth right on that soil and
our roots got nothing. So it shows you that when it rains on a soil
like that, you have to get a lot more or put down more irrigation water and that’s not
free. On Greg’s reduced till, here’s how much water
was getting to his plant roots. And then, our dryland no-till, this is how
much came down. I wonder if our dryland clay is actually soaking
up…you know, the difference in these two is that the clay soil is probably holding
more water in the soil. If we gave it more time, we’d probably see
more infiltration coming through it. So that’s kinda the difference in textures
of the soils that you’re seeing. But, hopefully, this kind of gives you an
idea of why management is so important. Why we’re really trying to talk to our irrigated
beet growers about reducing tillage, increasing organic matter, increasing soil structure,
and hopefully folks see that in a very direct payoff in water savings.