Soil erosion occurs when environmental factors wear on and remove soil particles. Soil erosion has become a concern worldwide, causing serious problems for food production and other agricultural crops. It is also at the heart of other environmental issues.
Soil erosion is caused by excessive rainfall, runoff, low organic soil matter, steep slopes and gradients, lack of vegetation cover, and wind. Erosion may be a slow process, or it can occur suddenly, at a surprising rate.
Loss of soil has an economic impact, causes environmental concerns, such as flooding, and reduces biodiversity. It also increases dust, which acts as an abrasive and air pollutant, and has the potential to carry infectious disease.
Control includes maintaining a surface cover over soil to prevent further erosion. Ground cover and vegetation can be planted and temporary soil covers, such as wood fiber or straw combined with material that bonds organic material to keep it from dispersing, may be applied to control erosion prior planting.