Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

Fred Tompkins

Committee Members

Curtis Shelton, Donald Tyler


A three-unit basin tillage machine which mechanically formed earthen dams in the tilled soil of bedded row middles was designed, constructed, and field tested. The objectives of the test were to evaluate the operation of the machine and to evaluate the effectiveness of diked bedded row middles in controlling soil loss by water erosion. Diked and undiked treatments were compared during six tests using slopes of 2 and 5 percent and slope lengths of 65 feet and 50 feet, respectively. A test consisted of subjecting two plots, one diked and the other undiked on the same ground slope and of the same slope length, to simulated rainfall of a given intensity. Rainfall application intensities ranged from 0.68 to 4.89 inches per hour. Runoff samples from each plot were manually collected at 4-minute intervals from type HS flumes installed at each plot outlet. Runoff rates were determined by measuring the depths of flow in the flumes. Sediment concentrations in the runoff water samples were determined by laboratory analyses and subsequently translated to mass of soil loss. The prototype machine operated relatively trouble-free under typical field conditions throughout the experiment. Diked plots, when compared to undiked plots, generally exhibited lower runoff rates, contained less sediment in the runoff water, and allowed more water to infiltrate the soil.

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