How To Prevent Soil Erosion In Farming? 6 Practical Solutions
Soil erosion is a common issue in any soil type around the world. It’s a natural process where weather and water damage the soil gradually.
This phenomenon removes the topsoil and harms your land since it leads to pollution in waterways and landslides.
How to prevent soil erosion in farming? Don’t skip this article if you want to get practical solutions. Let’s scroll down to discover!
What Are The Common Causes Of Soil Erosion In Farming?
The main culprits causing soil erosion in farming include natural factors and human activities, as shown below:
- Strong winds dislodge dry, microscopic soil particles in semi-arid areas, which causes desertification.
- Unusual rains or abrupt temperature changes devastate the farm surface.
- Extreme rains may wash topsoil particles away.
- Huge raindrops strike the farm surface.
- Water streams encounter no barriers when wildfires decimate buffer zones and forests.
- Agricultural activities can result in soil erosion due to a decline in the richness of soil microbes and flora diversity.
- Inadequate farm management, like overfertilization and conventional tillage, may cause this issue.
- Any tree removal will accelerate erosive processes.
How To Prevent Soil Erosion In Farming?
What methods should you apply to prevent the erosive process in your land? Look no further than the following ways!
#1. Grow Your Vegetation
This strategy involves growing produce with deep rhizomes to keep the soil firmly in place.
This way is suitable for the lands in places like streams, slopes, and riverbanks that are especially prone to erosion.
Vegetative barriers block the passage of water because of their thick, densely packed stems. They let water runoff pass through them gradually without eroding.
Native plants with deep roots, like wildflowers and prairie grasses, are proper for controlling erosion.
#2. Avoid Tiling In Narrow Spaces
Tilling is necessary for industrial farming. It softens the soil and makes it more prone to wind and rain erosion.
So, large-scale agricultural techniques like tilling are typically unnecessary in narrow gardens.
#3. Reduce Watering
The topsoil of your farm may quickly degrade if you rinse it with excessive water. If possible, reduce your water usage, or install a drip watering system.
A drip irrigation system disperses a little water at a specific time. Moreover, you may install underground drip pipes to irrigate the roots directly.
If you want to install this system, watch this video before performing this task:
#4. Mulch With Plants
This technique involves spreading mulch materials over the exposed soil to prevent erosion.
Mulching primarily serves as an erosion control measure in the early phases of developing shrubs or seedlings.
Furthermore, mulch controls soil temperature and conserves moisture to lessen fluctuation in both factors.
Organic mulches will help your plants in autumn and spring by providing nourishment and protection.
On the other hand, wood mulch is excellent for use in landscapes and gardens.
#5. Avoid Overgrazing
A bad stand of plants might result from having too many animals graze in one area for an extended time.
If that’s the case, the soils will be vulnerable to the erosive power of the water runoff.
Luckily, you can reduce this risk by applying the proper pasture management technique or sustainable grazing.
#6. Avoid Soil Compaction
People, animals, and machines constantly walk on the soil. As a result, it presses and consolidates the soil into a firm layer.
Topsoil will go downhill since water has difficulty flowing through the compacted soil particles due to the reduced space between them.
Instead of trampling the ground, building a path on concrete slabs or cleared walkways is essential, especially if it rains.
Compost or manure might also be beneficial to you in breaking up clumps of soil by drawing worms to the area.
What Are The Effects Of Soil Erosion On Farming?
Soil erosion has several adverse effects, apart from the destruction of agricultural land.
As you know, the topsoil is highly fertile. Hence, removing it might seriously impair the farmers’ production or capacity to use their land.
If the topsoil gets stiff, it prevents the water from infiltrating the deeper layers. So, it keeps runoff at higher levels and increases severe erosion risk.
Reduced Organic & Fertile Matter
It will be challenging for the soils to grow new vegetation if thick topsoil disappears with organic substances.
As a result, the farmers can’t grow new plants or crops successfully in these areas. Also, it causes the number of organic materials to decrease.
The risk of silt and pollution from fertilizer and pesticides increases with runoff water from the soil.
Why Is It Important To Prevent Soil Erosion?
As mentioned above, soil erosion occurs when the topsoil is washed away on specific land areas. Human activities or natural factors can cause this problem.
The topsoil is the most healthy part with several nutrients. Thus, the soil underneath will work more to resist erosion if it erodes.
Furthermore, soil erosion will destroy the aesthetics of your land. It also limits the ability to utilize this area for cultivating crops.
Most importantly, soil erosion will reduce soil fertility. As a result, it may negatively influence crop yields.
Can Farming Contribute To Soil Erosion?
The short answer is Yes! Topsoil becomes uncovered and susceptible to drying when agricultural areas replace natural plants. It contributes to soil erosion.
How Does Erosion Affect Farmers?
This issue may cause the yields to be lower. Besides, production costs will be higher than usual.
Moreover, erosion will also lead to gullies and rills without the topsoil. It makes paddock cultivation impossible.
Which Type Of Farming Protects The Soil From Erosion By Plowing?
It’s no-till farming. This farming method can decrease the portion of soil erosion that tillage creates in some lands.
Can Plants Stop Soil Erosion Results?
The good news is yes! Plants contribute to the soil’s water absorption. As a result, it’s more challenging for the liquid to wash away the soil.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, soil erosion may cause several adverse effects on the environment and your yields.
Thus, it’s vital to know the causes and apply suitable methods to prevent this common issue, like reducing watering or mulching with plants.
Hopefully, you can save your soil with our practical solutions!