A Smartphone Application to Compute Soil Erosion based on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE)
Erosion negatively affects farming. It leads to a 50% decline in land productivity (Nellemann et al, 2009). In Africa, erosion generates significant yield reduction (Eswaran, Lal & Reich, 2001). The loss of 75 billion tons of soil per year represent a cost of US$400 billion. An acre of U.S. cropland loses 5 tons of soil per year (Briggs, 2020). Moreover, soil carried away is the source of respiratory illnesses and damages that amount to over $14 billion per year (Eswaran, Lal & Reich, 2001). Furthermore, erosion reduces soil water-holding capacity. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is the major tool to calculate erosion caused by rainfall erosivity; the resistance of the environment (including soil erodibility; topographical factor, plant cover, and farming techniques) and human techniques (erosion control practices in farming) (Roose, 1996). RUSLE is instrumental in keeping erosion within acceptable limits. This paper presents a new, and the first of its type, smartphone application developed to help farmers and stakeholders compute soil erosion at any location in the world using the RUSLE model. Such an application can help land users to have a more accurate perception about soil erosion and its negative impact.
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