A reduction in soil erosion.
This graph shows soil erosion rates from farmland in the Pacific Northwest prior to the STEEP program, illustrating the drastic reduction in erosion as farmers adopted conservation tillage methods developed through STEEP research. STEEP (Solutions to Environmental and Economic Problems), a USDA Special Research Grant, improves Pacific North- west farming and the environment for less than 20¢ per acre per year1.
STEEP is a grower-oriented program. Grower involvement in all aspects is key in implementing new conservation technologies on farms for efficient and profitable crop production while protecting soil and water resources.
1Kok, Papendick, and Saxton, 2007. EB2035Ea—Steep Impact Assessment, p. 19.
Examples of Major STEEP Accomplishments
- Demonstrated the advantage of subsurface banding fertilizer over broadcast application.
Impact: Less fertilizer used, together with better crop growth, results in environmental and economic benefits.
- Development of the two-pass fertilizer and seed system.
Impact: Less tillage is required, leaving more crop residue on the soil surface and resulting in less erosion, less fuel consumption, and lower labor requirements.