USDA says total soil erosion on cultivated and non-cultivated cropland in the U.S. fell 43% from 1982 to 2003. Meanwhile, wind erosion decreased by 44%, and sheet and rill erosion (the removal of layers of soil by rainfall and runoff) by 42%. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service conducted the survey. Learn more at www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent