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Soil conservation

Soil conservation is the protection of soil from erosion and other types of deterioration, so as
to maintain soil fertility and productivity.

Methods of Soil Conservation

1.Terrace cultivation
Terracing across the hill slopes is a very effective and one of the oldest methods of soil
conservation. Hill slope is cut into a number of terraces. Terracing checks the flow of
runoff water, promotes absorption of water by soil and reduces soil erosion.

2. Contour Bunding

Contour bunding or contour farming or Contour ploughing is the practice


of ploughing and planting across a slope following the natural contours of the hill. The
ridges and furrows break the flow of water down the hill. This prevents excessive soil loss
and reduce runoff so that plants receive more water.

3. Green manuring

Green manuring is the practice of growing plants, usually belonging to leguminous family
and ploughing or turning into the soil, the undecomposed green plant tissues for the
purpose of improving the soil fertility. The plants grown for green manure are known
as green manure crops.eg. Sunhemp

4. Wind break

A windbreak (shelterbelt) is a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or


shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil
from erosion.

5. Geotextiles

Geotextiles are permeable fabrics used as protective covering to prevent leaching of fine
soil particles. It improves crop productivity and reduce weed problem. . Geotextiles are
suitable for protection from erosion of earth embankments by wave action .
6. Cover crops

A cover crop is a temporary vegetative cover that is grown to provide protection for the
soil and the establishment of plants. Cover crops reduce soil erosion by leaving a cover
over the soil which reduces soil displacement associated with the impact of raindrops
hitting soil particles. They also reduce the volume and velocity of runoff over the soil.

7. Mulching

Mulching consists of applying organic materials like hay and dry leaves over the exposed
soil. It helps in conservation of soil moisture, improve fertility and health of the soil and
reduce weed growth.

Crop rotation, planting vegetation and trees along stream/river banks, proper waste
disposal and management, practicing organic farming, restricting grazing by
animals, afforestation and prevention of forest destruction etc are also soil
conservation methods.