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This NebGuide describes how to use the line-transect method to estimate the percentage of the soil surface covered with crop residue.
Crop residue left on the soil surface is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of reducing soil erosion. Research in Nebraska and other midwestern states has shown that leaving as little as 20 percent of the soil surface covered with crop residues can reduce soil erosion by one-half of what it would be from residue-free conditions. Greater amounts of residue cover will further reduce erosion.