Date of this Version



© 1938, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


When the white men first explored Nebraska, they found little erosion taking place. They found the hills, particularly in eastern Nebraska, covered with a dense growth of grass, underlain with a thick mat of decaying debris. The valleys were even more densely covered with the water-loving grasses and sedges. The soil underneath the prairie was black and spongy, the result of centuries of accumulating humus. The valleys bordering the streams were boggy and abounded with springs. Clear water flowed constantly in the streams. The upland draws in the more favorable parts of the state were heavily covered with the big bluestem and slough grass. Springs occurred in many of these.

Soil erosion in Nebraska has not progressed to as great an extent as in states to the east and to the south. This is because of the comparatively lower rainfall in Nebraska, because the land has been farmed for fewer years in this state, and because some Nebraska soils are comparatively less erosive.

This extension circular covers factors which influence erosion, erosion control practices, and storage of soil moisture.