The photos below were taken before the warm summer temperatures and ample rainfall kicked crop growth into high gear. The corn is now well over head-high and the soybeans have canopied the soil. But, the tall crops are also masking the recurring issue of soil erosion. And, since the issue is out of sight now, it seems to be out of mind. It will be forgotten. No preventative actions will be taken. And, we will see erosion again next year.
In my geography, spring is the time of greatest soil erosion. All of the fall and/or spring tillage has been done. The crops have been planted but are not tall enough to protect the soil, leaving it exposed. And, it is the time of intense rainfall events.
Every spring, I drive the backroads photographing erosion scars. I never have to go far from home either, often returning to the same fields year after year. It seems we have large rainfall events every year and this severe weather trend is only expected to get worse.
From a photography standpoint, I am glad the crops are tall. Now, I can take pictures of Iowa’s beautiful landscapes without the ugly scars marring the landscape. Here is a small sampling of photos I took this spring before the crops masked the “ugly”.