Erosional Soil Losses as Indicators of Nutrient Depletion at selected sites in Kenya

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ational Agricultural Research Laboratories
Runoff plots were constructed at eight sites around the country to monitor soil losses from three crop cover conditions between 1988 and 1990. Soil loss amounts were determined by weighing air dried soils obtained from collecting drums fitted at the end of each plot. Relationships were sought between the soil losses with soil types, slope, crop cover conditions and rainfall amounts. Macronutrient losses were calculated by converting the annual soil losses using the soil chemical characteristics determined before the experimental period. There were correlations between amounts of soil lost with soil types, slope characteristics and rainfall but these relationships were not significant. Soil erosion control was most effective in the maize legume intercrop compared to the pure maize cover and bare land. The intercrop controlled soil loss up to 35 times better than the bare soil in the first season at Vihiga and 118 times in the second at Kiamokama. Maximum annu~l soil losses (i.e. from ?are land)