Why soil conservation is an important agricultural practice


Conservation Agriculture provides a number of advantages on global, regional, local and farm level:

  • Sustainability. It provides a truly sustainable production system, not only conserving but also enhancing the natural resources and increasing the variety of soil biota, fauna and flora (including wild life) …
  • Enhanced biodiversity. …
  • Carbon sequestration. …
  • Labour savings. …
  • Healthier soils. …
  • Increased yields. …
  • Reduced costs. …

Soil conservation is proven to increase the quality and quantity of crop yields over the long term because it keeps topsoil in its place and preserves the long term productivity of the soil. To grow enough food not only for ourselves; but also for people in third would countries where there are food shortages.Apr 11, 2022


What are the 5 methods of soil conservation?

What are the Methods of Soil Conservation?

  • (1) Gully control- to check the widening of gullies by constructing bunds dams.
  • (2) Afforestation. ADVERTISEMENTS:
  • (3) Stream bank protection- Prevention of cutting of river banks.

What are the principles and methods of soil conservation?


  • 4.1.1 The Extent of Erosion. The lower rainfall in semi-arid areas compared with that in humid climates does not mean a corresponding low level of soil erosion by water.
  • 4.1.2 Soil Conservation and Water Conservation. …
  • 4.1.3 Integrated Programmes. …
  • 4.1.4 Design Requirements. …
  • 4.1.5 Relevant Technology. …

What are the ways in conserving soil?

What are the Best Ways to Conserve Soil?

  • Plant Trees and Ground Cover. The roots of the trees help to bind the soil together and get deeper into the soil which helps to draw nutrients for the plants.
  • Use Terrace Farming. …
  • Restore Wetlands. …
  • Contour Farming. …
  • Avoid Till Farming. …
  • Planting of Rain Garden. …
  • Avoid Compacting Soil. …
  • Say No to Dig Gardening Techniques. …
  • Reduce Impervious Surfaces. …

Why is soil conservation important to the economy?

Soil functions are general capabilities of soils that are important for various agricultural, environmental, nature protection, landscape architecture and urban applications. Six key soil functions are: Food and other biomass production. Environmental Interaction: storage, filtering, and transformation. Biological habitat and gene pool.


What are the important practices in soil conservation?

Soil conservation practices are tools the farmer can use to prevent soil degradation and build organic matter. These practices include: crop rotation, reduced tillage, mulching, cover cropping and cross-slope farming. farmers to increase soil organic matter content, soil structure and rooting depth.

What are three reasons why soil conservation is important?

Reduced erosion. Increased water infiltration and storage. Improved air and water quality. Provides food and shelter for wildlife.

What is soil conservation Why is it important to conserve soil?

Soil conservation is concerned with keeping soils healthy through a variety of methods and techniques. Individuals who are committed to soil conservation assist to keep the soil fertile and productive while also protecting it from erosion and degradation.

Why is soil conservation important 7?

Conservation of soil is required to prevent soil erosion and maintain its fertility. Soil erosion eliminates the top layer of the soil, thus removing all necessary organic matters and nutrients necessary for plants to grow and produce fruits.

What is the importance of soil management?

Good management of soils ensures that mineral elements do not become deficient or toxic to plants, and that appropriate mineral elements enter the food chain. Soil management is important, both directly and indirectly, to crop productivity, environmental sustainability, and human health.

What is soil conservation short answer?

Soil conservation is the protection of soil from erosion and other types of deterioration, so as to maintain soil fertility and productivity. It generally includes watershed management and water use.

Which soil is most important for agriculture?

Porous loamy soilsPorous loamy soils are the richest of all, laced with organic matter which retains water and provides the nutrients needed by crops. Sand and clay soils tend to have less organic matter and have drainage problems: sand is very porous and clay is impermeable.

How can soil conservation practices minimize soil erosion?

Conservation Tillage: Conventional tillage produces a smooth surface that leaves soil vulnerable to erosion. Conservation tillage methods such as no-till planting, strip rotary tillage, chiseling, and disking leave more of the field surface covered with crop residue that protects the soil from eroding forces.

Why is soil conservation important?

Soil conservation is key to environmental sustainability: It helps protect natural resources and watersheds, restores habitats for plants and wildlife, improves water quality, and makes soil healthier. Soil conservation also creates economic opportunity. Productive and healthy soil helps farmers meet increased demand for agricultural commodities from a growing global population, driving economic growth.

How does soil conservation help the economy?

Soil conservation also helps to minimize the following: Loss of fertile and arable land, impacting crops and livestock production, as well as the economy. Pollution and sedimentation flowing in streams and rivers, affecting fish and other species.

What makes soil so important?

Soils help meet societal needs, providing food, energy, and nutrients. They also help minimize the impact of climate change and promote healthy ecosystems. Below are three reasons why soil is so important:

Why is soil important for life?

Soil provides the nutrients essential for plant growth, animal life, and millions of microorganisms. However, if soil becomes unhealthy, unstable, or polluted, the life cycle stops. Soil conservation focuses on keeping soils healthy through a combination of practices and techniques. Individuals committed to soil conservation help ensure that soil is fertile and productive, and protect it from erosion and deterioration.

What are the threats to soil conservation?

Threats to soil conservation. The primary threats to soil conservation are climate change and traditional farming practices, according to the United Nations. Traditional farming practices include the overuse of harmful pesticides that contaminate soils, slash-and-burn methods, and land overuse. Soil conservation aims to mitigate these threats.

How do pesticides affect the environment?

The use of pesticides can contaminate the soil, as well as nearby vegetation and water sources, with harmful chemicals . In addition to contamination, chemicals used on crops can be toxic to important beneficial insects, such as bees, as well as fish and bird populations.

How does overuse affect soil?

Land overuse. Overuse of land can limit soil’s ability to play its part in the global climate cycle. For example, overcutting forests and woodlands for timber and overgrazing pastures can far outpace the natural regrowth of vegetation, subjecting soil to increased exposure to erosion.

Why is soil important?

While we have started some precautionary and conservation measures, here are a few reasons why soil protection is imperative: The soil is literally the foundation of plant life. A tree will not be a tree without soil. While there are some plants that can live in water or air, most plants need to be rooted to the ground.

Why is soil important to the animal kingdom?

The soil additionally supports the animal king dom. Our agriculture also relies on soil, for its location and for other functions to be derived from its existence. It will be almost impossible to support the animal and human life without land. Biodiversity relies on soil at all times.

What is soil conservation?

Soil conservation practices are those farming operations and management strategies conducted with the goal to control soil erosion by preventing or limiting soil particle detachment and transport in water or air. Although some aspects of soil conservation practices may relate to water conservation, and although soil and water conservations are …

How does agriculture affect the environment?

The effects of land cultivation and soil erosion expand beyond the border of an agricultural field, state, or even country. Separate agricultural ecosystems are connected via a network of groundwater, streams, and rivers. Silt, sediments, nutrients, and other agricultural pollutants that are transported to streams, rivers, and ultimately marine systems can restrict the possibilities for navigation, irrigation, food production, and fisheries, and can affect water and air quality. Thus, the local ecological impacts of agricultural practices have been recognized globally. This has resulted in national and international policy frameworks including organizations such as: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Geosphere and Biosphere Program – Global Change in Terrestrial Ecosystems (IGBP – GCTE), the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), Global Assessment of Soil Degradation (GLASOD), and Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Global Soil Week (GSW), and Inter-Government Technical Panel on Soil (ITPS), all of which have been active in either research, communication, or assistance to countries requiring immediate soil conservation measures and agricultural improvement.

How does government policy affect land?

When private incentives differ from societal incentives, the influence of government policies and regulations can have a major impact on managing the natural resources. In the United States, 25% of arable land is regulated with the beneficial effects for soil conservation. Conservation tillage in the United States was part of the 1985 Food Security Act (FSA), which encouraged farmers to take erosion-control measures by providing farm subsidy payments. The US Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (amendment to FSA) established financial penalties and ineligibility for most farmer program subsidies to farmers who produced agricultural crops on wetlands that were converted after enactment. This act also established the Conservation Reserve Program, providing an opportunity for the farmers to take highly erodible lands out of production by receiving annual rental payments from their 10-year contracts with the Department of Agriculture. The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 introduced “planting” flexibility, giving farmers entering commodity programs freedom to choose crops on the contracted acreage. Under the same act, soil erosion control and wetland restoration regulations were improved. These few examples illustrate that government policies can slow land degradation.

How does mulching help vineyards?

The use of organic and inorganic mulches in vineyards conserves soil moisture by minimizing evaporation and improving soil infiltration ( Pinamonti, 1998; Chan et al., 2010; Medrano et al., 2015b ). In addition, organic mulches increase soil organic matter and improve soil structure and soil water-holding capacity ( Proffitt, 2013 ). The use of mulches also has a regulatory effect on T s ( Figs. 10.2 and 10.3 ). Such an effect depends on the type of material used and its color ( Pinamonti, 1998; Fourie and Freitag, 2010; Chan et al., 2010 ). In the case of dry grass mulching, our results show that it dampened T s over time and avoided T s extremes contrary to a bare cultivated soil situation ( Fig. 10.2 ). Contrary to the use of mulches, a clean tilled soil surface promotes evaporation on top layers and does not conserve soil moisture effectively, especially when done after rain ( Van Huyssteen and Weber, 1980 ). In turn, in the case of a bare soil with chemical weed control, the dry vegetation surface layer can have a mulch effect but soil cracking may occur (mainly in clay soils), which favors evaporation from deeper soil layers.

What are some examples of land degradation?

The westward Euro-American settlement of the US is replete with examples of land degradation and soil eros ion. Dabney et al. (2012) described water-driven soil erosion problems extending from the US southeastern coastal plain that began with clearing land of virgin timber for agriculture during the 1830s and, for an example, resulted in what was later described in 1910 as the badlands of Mississippi. The native range of the North American bison that includes the southern Great Plains, previously labeled the ‘Great American Desert’ by explorer Stephen Long in 1820 ( Price and Rathjen, 1986 ), similarly entered agricultural production at the beginning of the 1900s with the encouragement of railroads and land speculators ( Egan, 2006; Campbell, 1907 ). Fueling this migration to the Great Plains was an early claim of anthropogenical climate change that ‘rain follows the plow’ as professed with certainty by Cyrus Thomas who served as agriculturalist and naturalist for the 1871 Hayden expedition ( Bartlett, 1980 ). The ensuing cultivation implemented the widely adopted farming practices from Campbell’s ‘A Complete Guide to Scientific Agriculture as Adapted to the Semiarid Regions’ (1907) that promoted frequent residue-burying tillage using implements intended for maximum pulverizing of soil. That soil condition was intended to increase rain infiltration plus provide an evaporation-limiting dust mulch and an ‘ideal seedbed.’ However, some 16 million hectares of potentially erodible soil were exposed and eventually became the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Why is organic matter limiting in Andean agroecosystems?

Biomass production: Organic matter has become highly limiting in Andean agroecosystems (particularly in the Altiplano) due to competing uses of fuel, fodder, and soil fertility amendments, thus indicating a need for greater farm level biomass production.

What was the Bureau of Soils Bulletin 55?

The 1909 Bureau of Soils Bulletin 55 provided an impressively extensive survey of the US soil resource prefaced by recent investigations containing the notable claim that the soil was an ‘indestructible, immutable asset’ ( Whitney, 1909 ).

Why Is Soil Conservation Important?

Since the majority of plants can’t exist without earth , it is significant to use this resource sparingly. The approach enables us to have enough food in the future, and material for technical needs, for example, household textile or fuel.

How does soil conservation help the environment?

Different methods of soil conservation help to mitigate erosion, keep fertility, avoid degradation, and minimize nature pollution due to chemicals by applying integrated weed and pest control techniques . Thus, soil conservation strategies greatly contribute to the sustainability of the environment and resources.

How does conservation tillage work?

The conservation tillage technique aims at addressing wind and water erosion by covering the earth with vegetation (either crops or their residues) and limiting the number of tilling operations. Another significant aspect is to choose the proper time for field operations, depending on the soil types. For example, clay ones are better to till after harvesting while other types are better to plow before seeding. Also, handling wet soils leads to their compaction.

Why is crop rotation important?

Crop rotation helps them improve the earth structure with diverse root systems, to mitigate pest establishments, and to add nitrogen to the land with legumes known as nitrogen-fixing plants.

How does minimum tillage affect soil moisture?

conventional plowing affects soil moisture by reducing cracking and evaporation as well as rising the infiltration rate.

Why is chemical control important in agriculture?

Chemicals application to control weed and pest infestations are harmful to the environment and undesired in soil conservation. This is why switching to alternative ways to address the problem is highly important in agriculture and organic farming in particular. These alternatives are biological and cultural options when fertility is restored with green and animal manure, compost, crop rotation, and other methods of non-chemical control.

How to conserve soil?

Soil conservation strategies rely on three basic steps: 1 Obtaining proper knowledge of the land resource use. 2 Monitoring fields and detecting critical zones. 3 Controlling and estimating the efficiency of applied soil conservation techniques.


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