What is contour in agriculture


Contouring means farming with row patterns nearly level around a hill – not up and down hill. The rows form hundreds of small dams that slow water flow and increase infiltration to reduce erosion. How it helps Contour farming

Contour plowing

Contour ploughing or contour farming or Contour bunding is the farming practice of plowing and/or planting across a slope following its elevation contour lines. These contour lines create a water break which reduces the formation of rills and gullies during times of heavy water run-off; whic…

can reduce soil erosion by as much as 50 percent compared to up and down hill farming.

Description. Contour farming is the practice of tillage, planting, and other farming operations performed on or near the contour of the field slope. This method is most effective on slopes between two (2) and ten (10) percent.


What do you mean by contour farming?

Contour cultivation (contour farming, contour plowing, or contour bunding) is a sustainable way of farming where farmers plant crops across or perpendicular to slopes to follow the contours of a slope of a field. This arrangement of plants breaks up the flow of water and makes it harder for soil erosion to occur.

What are the disadvantages of contour farming?

In nutshell, it should be as below:

  • 1. Minimum percent land slope.
  • 4. Essay on the Limitations of Contour Farming: Contour farming creates better result in the field of relatively uniform slope. …
  • 5. Essay on the Care and Maintenance of Contour Farming: It is done as per following points: i. …
  • 6. …
  • 7. …

What is the importance of contour farming?

What are the methods of soil conservation?

  • Afforestation.
  • Checking Overgrazing.
  • Constructing Dams.
  • Changing Agricultural Practices.
  • Crop Rotation.
  • Strip Cropping.
  • Use of Early Maturing Varieties.
  • Contour Ploughing.

What is the difference between terracing and contour farming?

Contour farming is the farming practice that involves the ridge making across the slope of the land but Terracing is an engineering aspect of erosion control that involves the construction of short steps along the contours of the land with a view to preventing the rapid flow of water down the slope.


What does contour mean in agriculture?

Contouring means farming with row patterns nearly level around a hill – not up and down hill. The rows form hundreds of small dams that slow water flow and increase infiltration to reduce erosion.

What is contour tillage?

Contour tillage or planting is practiced on sloping lands to reduce soil erosion and surface runoff. A contour is an imaginary line connecting points of equal elevation on the ground surface, perpendicular to the direction of slope.

What is contouring of land?

Contouring is preparing the soil, plant- ing and cultivating crops around a hill rather than up and down the hill. Con- tour rows run around a slope nearly on the level. The rows form hundreds of small dams to slow runoff.

What is contour plowing in agriculture?

Contour plowing follows the contours of hills and slopes, rather than orienting crop rows up and down a slope. It is a technique that was popularized during the New Deal and afterwards in response to soil erosion.

What is contour farming answer?

contour farming, the practice of tilling sloped land along lines of consistent elevation in order to conserve rainwater and to reduce soil losses from surface erosion.

What is contour irrigation?

What Is Contour Furrow Irrigation Method? With contour-furrow irrigation, water is carried across a sloping field rather than down the slope. The furrows have just enough grade to carry the irrigation streams. Head ditches or pipelines are run downhill, or slightly across the slope, to feed the individual furrows.

What is contour and contouring?

Contouring in surveying is the determination of elevation of various points on the land and fixing these points of same horizontal positions in the contour map. In the land property world, a contour is an outline of a mass of land.

What is contour and its types?

There are 3 kinds of contour lines you’ll see on a map: intermediate, index, and supplementary. Index lines are the thickest contour lines and are usually labeled with a number at one point along the line. This tells you the elevation above sea level.

Where is contour farming used?

Contour farming is a traditional Pacific Island practice that is very good for growing food on hillsides. When farmers carry out their farming activities (plowing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting) across the slope instead of up and down the slope, they are using contour farming contour farming contour farming.

What is contour farming?

Contour farming definition. Contour farming involves farming row patterns as level as possible around a hill. Thus, the row patterns do not go up and down but are around the hill. By creating rows around the hill you will generate the equivalent of small dams that will slow waterfall and help to increase infiltration of …

How does contour farming help soil?

To maximize soil protection, adding other processes like intercropping, buffering, and cover crops can further help reduce soil erosion. The added biodiversity will also help to keep the fertility of our soils high.

What is strip cropping?

Strip cropping gets commonly implemented in contour farming. The farmer will arrange their crops, so strips of meadow or small grain are alternated with a strip of row crops. Rows of crops get limited to no more than half of the field usage.

What are the disadvantages of contour farming?

1) When dealing with more prolonged and steeper slopes, farmers need to move to strip cropping. 2) Herbicide carryover may be a problem. 3) Grassed waterways need to get added in areas where runoff concentrates. 4) Irregular slopes may require more than one key contour line.

How does contour farming conserve water?

Areas that use contour farming methods can conserve water usage because of how much better contours allow rainwater to seep into the soil.

What is contour buffer strip?

Similar to strip cropping, contour buffer strips use grass or some other permanent vegetation to trap sediment or nutrients from getting washed away. Another difference is that the buffer strips are going to be more narrow compared to strip cropping. [1]

Why do farmers use secondary crops?

In addition, using a secondary crop to provide nutrients like legumes enables you to reduce the volume of fertilizers required . Another benefit from farmers alternating their crops is that it naturally breaks the cycle of weeds, insects, and disease, reducing the number of pesticides used.

What is contour farming?

Used since ancient times to slow the flow of water across the land to make it soak into the soil, contour farming is a method of planting crops across the slope of the land or perpendicular to the flow of water. This contour strip cropping system in Stuarts Draft Virginia incorporates many BMPs: contour farming, crop rotation, no-till planting, …

Why did the new farmer not want the contour strips?

The new farmer did not want the contour strips because it took more time plant. He wanted to plant the whole farm in one crop. He said he would use no-till and didn’t need to plant on the contour.

How does planting across a hill help?

The simple act of planting across the slope instead of up and down the hill does two very important things: it captures at least twice the rainwater and reduces soil erosion up to eight-fold.

What tools do farmers need?

Farming is like making a fine cabinet; it takes a lot of tools: a table saw, planer, miter box, band saw, drill press etc. The cabinetmaker needs them all. A farmer planting annual crops on sloping land needs a lot of tools as well: no-till planter, cover crops, crop rotation, and…contour farming. Like the table saw in building a cabinet; contour …

Is no till farming good for soil?

No-till farming is a great conservation practice but it is not the panacea of soil conservation. It takes a combination of conservation practices to anchor the soil and nutrients on the land where they belong – not washing away with rainfall into the streams where they become pollutants. Runoff from agricultural fields is one …

Does the Farm Bill allow farmers to continue receiving USDA benefits?

Unfortunately, the U.S. Farm Bill allows farmers to continue receiving USDA benefits as long as their soil erosion rates do not exceed 2 X “T”. Bottom line: the new farmer has twice the soil erosion that agronomists know is sustainable and still receives USDA benefits .

What is contour plowing?

What Does Contour Plowing Mean? Contour plowing is the act of farming on a hill or a contoured area. The plow follows the contours of the land horizontally helping to reduce runoff of water.

Why are there small ridges on the hill?

Small ridges or raised platforms known as water breaks are built along the rims of these individual steps in order to prevent the water from just running down the hill.

What is contour map?

A contour maps consists of contour lines which are imaginary lines connecting points of equal elevation. Such lines are drawn on the plan of an area after establishing reduced levels of several points in the area. The contour lines in an area are drawn keeping difference in elevation of between two consecutive lines constant. For example, the contour map in fig. 1 shows contours in an area with contour interval of 1 m. On contour lines the level of lines is also written.

How to use contour maps?

Uses of Contour Maps 1 A civil engineer studies the contours and finds out the nature of the ground to identify. Suitable site for the project works to be taken up. 2 By drawing the section in the plan, it is possible to find out profile of the ground along that line. It helps in finding out depth of cutting and filling, if formation level of road/railway is decided. 3 Intervisibility of any two points can be found by drawing profile of the ground along that line. 4 The routes of the railway, road, canal or sewer lines can be decided so as to minimize and balance earthworks. 5 Catchment area and hence quantity of water flow at any point of nalla or river can be found. This study is very important in locating bunds, dams and also to find out flood levels. 6 From the contours, it is possible to determine the capacity of a reservoir.

Can you use both horizontal and vertical controls on the same instrument?

If the theodolite is used, both horizontal and vertical controls can be achieved from the same instrument. Based on the instruments used one can classify …



Farming is one of the oldest and sustainable human activities. As societies evolved from simple to sophisticated lifestyles, human beings began to till land and farm in order to produce their own food. As time passed, man discovered different ways of tilling and farming on different landscapes, including slopes that are notorious fo…

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  • Plowing and planting across slope contours create man-made water breaks that not only allows enough time for the water to enter the soil, but also to settles the topsoil without washing it down the slope. On slopes with no contours, water runoff quickly without the soil properly absorbing it and carrying the top fertile soil with it, therefore, leaving a non-fertile land up the slope. Contour f…

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  • First, contour farming maintains soil fertility by preventing downwash of the fertile topsoil of a farm and consequently enabling betters yields. When done right, this method reduces erosion by more than 50%. With the reduced loss of fertility comes the reduced use of fertilizer and a reduced cost of purchasing fertilizers. In most cases, rainwater washes farming fertilizers downstream a…

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Early history

  • During the period of Ancient Greek, a thalassocratic ancient Semitic civilization, the Phoenicians, who originated from the Eastern Mediterranean, practiced some of the earliest forms of contour farming. The farmers in Phoenicia (land of the palm trees) helped spread contour farming throughout the Mediterranean region and eventually many farmers in present-day Israel, Lebano…

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  • To roll out a massive campaign for contour farming, the Soil Conservation Service partnered with federal institutions, state governments, universities, and communities in order to promote the method to both small-scale and large-scale farmers as well as to research more on how to achieve the best results with the method. Institutions such as the University of Nebraska rolled o…

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  • The practice of contour farming, though good, is not ideal in all slope and climate conditions. Contour farming is effective on slopes that have gradients between 2% and 10%. Secondly, the area must be receiving a given amount of rainfall in a given period. When the slopes are steeper and rainfall is greater, strip cropping becomes ideal in contour farming because this provides a…

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  • Experts encourage contour farmers to use additional soil and water conservation techniques to supplement the former in order to yield the best results. Such supplements include strip cropping, use of cover crops, use of windbreaks, grassing waterways, and building terraces among others. Strip cropping is good for long and steeper slopes while irregular slopes need more than a singl…

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  • The Keyline Design looks at how specific topographies link to water flow for an optimum use of water on a farm. In the design, contours ought to be made in specific ways to control rainfall runoff and maximize irrigation of undulating land during fast floods without building terraces. This system also observes that at the end of a contour, the land is always steeper on one side than th…

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