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Reducing runoff by managing crop location at the catchment level, considering agronomic constraints at farm level

Abstract : Runoff and erosion cause frequent damage through muddy floods in the loess belt of Northern Europe. One possibility for reducing damage is to lower runoff on agricultural land by spatially alternating different crops at the catchment level. But crop location results from decisions taken at the farm level. This study aimed to assess the existing leeway to modify crop location in the farms of a catchment, in order to reduce runoff at the catchment's outlet. The case study was the Bourville catchment (1086 ha), cultivated by 28 farmers and located in Pays de Caux, France. First, crop location rules in the 14 main farms of the catchment were analysed on the basis of surveys carried out with farmers, distinguishing spatial constraints from temporal ones. These rules made it possible to simulate crop location on each farm territory for the 2001-2002 crop year. Each field of the catchment was classified depending on whether one or several crops could be sown, taking into account both field history and farmer decision rules. Then two extreme scenarios of crop location in the Bourville catchment were built. Runoff simulation at the outlet with the STREAM model showed that runoff could be reduced while sticking to current farmer decision rules in terms of crop location. Depending on rainfall event characteristics, runoff reduction varied between 13·5 per cent and 4·5 per cent.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2017 - 8:32:02 PM
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Alexandre Joannon, Veronique Souchere, Philippe Martin, François Papy. Reducing runoff by managing crop location at the catchment level, considering agronomic constraints at farm level. Land Degradation and Development, Wiley, 2006, 17 (5), pp.467-478. ⟨10.1002/ldr.714⟩. ⟨hal-01458444⟩



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