Crop farming takes a lot of work and resources. Why do farmers leave wide strips of grass through their field? Shouldn't they plant crops everywhere they can?
The farmer probably carefully planned those grass strips, called waterways. The grassed waterways are designed to do what their name says: Provide a planned path for way for water to flow. A permanent perennial crop, like grass, is put in place to hold soil and prevent erosion.
Consider the heavy spring and fall rainfalls we see and the increase in severe weather in recent years. These occur at a time when the soil is most vulnerable. After a rainstorm, water can sweep through fields, taking topsoil with it. The swiftly moving water will start to create a small channels. With more rain, more water collects in those channels. Those small channels can become gullies and completely reshape farmland.
Planning ahead for where water will flow with a grassed waterway has several benefits.
Reduce erosion- The wide grassy area spreads water across a wider area as it leaves the field. This reduces the force of the water and makes it flow more slowly from the field, keeping fertile soil in the fields.
Consider environmental impact- When topsoil runs off fields, so do the chemicals farmers use to keep crops healthy. Unfortunately those same chemicals that keep crops healthy can be devastate native flora and fauna. Grass acts as a natural filter and holds runoff back from streams.
Future minded- Spring storms are becoming more frequent and severe. It's important to adapt to our changing atmosphere to keep food production sustainable. Grass waterways can lesson the burden of rain storms on farmland.
How can Gravel Grading & Excavating help?
Supporting farmers is the most important work we do. We'll move earth to bring the benefits of waterways to your farmland.
Clearing and grubbing- We can clear plants that have overtaken waterways including tough roots and stumps.
Grading- We can lay back the banks of the waterway to a better grade to keep soil in place and guide water slowly from the field.
Planting- You can keep to planting the annual crops, leave the perennial ground cover to us. We can get your perennial ground cover started by laying grass mats.
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