This tool determines soil erosion levels based on available soil information, rainfall data and inputs of crops, cropping practices and slope length. The information on this page will help you navigate the tool.  We recommend you either click here to access the NS Soil Erosion Tool Guide Sheet (pdf) or keep this page open for reference.  Proceed to the Nova Scotia Soil Erosion Tool

Select Location
To use the tool, click on Select Location and chose Atlantic region. Then zoom in on the map of the province (Double click or use the zoom tool zoomtool ) and select the parcel of land that is of interest. The map shows property boundaries and roads (it may take a few seconds for the property lines to show up). You can also use the Aerial button to change the screen to aerial photography. Once you select your property it will be highlighted in green.

Then proceed to the Soil Erosion Assessment page.

Soil Erosion Assessment

The Cropping Practices table is shown below with numbers in parentheses behind the cropping practices that indicate the percentage of erosion potential. Lower numbers are in green indicating lower soil erosion potential. High soil erosion potential values are in red. (i.e. Strip cropping, 3 year rotation (30)  reduces soil erosion by 70 % compared to cropping Up and down the slope (100)).

How are your crops planted? Select one from the list

  • Up and down slope   (100)
  • Cross slope   (75)
  • Strip cropping, 2 year rotation   (50)
  • Strip cropping, 3 year rotation   (30)

Slope Length is the longest continuous section of a field with a slope. What is the slope length of your field?  The following diagrams give an example.

slopelength

Diversion terracing can reduce Slope Length and thus soil erosion. Diversion terraces are shallow grassed ditches constructed across the slope to intercept runoff water flowing down the field and remove it before the amount of water is too large or is traveling too fast. See Diversion Terracing for more information

In the Crop Rotation table, select your crop and the management practices used to plant the crop for each year of a three year rotation. In the Management section of the Crop Rotation table, no-till planting, intercropping, using winter cover crops and leaving higher residue levels on the soil (reduced tillage) will result in lower soil erosion levels than conventional tillage and planting.

Then proceed to the Results page.

Results

Your estimated soil loss will be listed in Tonnes/Hectare/Year. A soil erosion level of 6 T/Ha/year is considered sustainable. If your calculated soil erosion rate is too high, you can modify your cropping practices, crops grown or slope length (terracing) on the Soil Erosion Assessment page.

Summary of soil loss rates

Soil erosion class Soil loss (T/Ha/yr)
Tolerable

0 – 6

Low

6 – 11

Moderate

11 – 22

High

22 – 33

Severe

33 +

A summary of soil conservation practices used in Nova Scotia is listed here. Please read to see if these practices can be implemented on your farm.

Proceed to the Nova Scotia Soil Erosion Tool

This tool was produced with cooperation from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. This is part of the CanPARTAKE suite of tools developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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