Soil, which is one of the most important natural resources, is often less heeded - Soil Conservation introduction. The importance of soil conservation is relatively less talked about as compared to the conservation of water and other natural resources. The almost-omnipresent soil is mostly taken for granted. Its omnipresence is ironically the reason behind us, human beings, taking it for a ride. We rarely even think of it as a natural resource that needs to be conserved, a part of the natural wealth that needs to be preserved.
The concept of the conservation of soil takes into account, the strategies for preventing the soil from getting eroded and preventing it from losing its fertility due to an adverse alteration in its chemical composition. Here are some ways to conserve soil. 10 Ways to Conserve Soil Plant trees: We all know that the roots of trees firmly hold on to the soil. As trees grow tall, they also keep rooting deeper into the soil. As the roots of the trees spread deep into the layers of soil, they contribute to the prevention of soil erosion.
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Soil that is under a vegetative cover has hardly any chance of getting eroded as the vegetative cover acts as a wind barrier as well. Terraces: Terracing is one of the very good methods of soil conservation. A terrace is a leveled section of a hilly cultivated area. Owing to its unique structure, it prevents the rapid surface runoff of water. Terracing gives the landmass a stepped appearance thus slowing the easy washing down of the soil. Dry stonewalling is a method used to create terraces in which stone structures are created without using mortar for binding.
No-till farming: When soil is prepared for farming by ploughing it, the process is known as tiling. No-till farming is a way of growing crops without disturbing it through tillage. The process of tilling is beneficial in mixing fertilizers in the soil, shaping it into rows and preparing a surface for sowing. But the tilling activity can lead to compaction of soil, loss of organic matter in soil and the death of the organisms in soil. No-till farming is a way to prevent the soil from being affected by these adversities.
Contour ploughing: This practice of farming across the slopes takes into account the slope gradient and the elevation of soil across the slope. It is the method of ploughing across the contour lines of a slope. This method helps in slowing the water runoff and prevents the soil from being washed away along the slope. Contour ploughing also helps in the percolation of water into the soil. Crop rotation: Some pathogens tend to build up in soil if the same crops are cultivated consecutively. Continuous cultivation of the same crop also leads to an imbalance in the fertility demands of the soil.
To prevent these adverse effects from taking place, crop rotation is practiced. It is a method of growing a series of dissimilar crops in an area sequentially. Crop rotation also helps in the improvement of soil structure and fertility. Soil pH: The contamination of soil by addition of acidic or basic pollutants and acid rains has an adverse effect on the pH of soil. Soil pH is one of the determinants of the availability of nutrients in soil. The uptake of nutrients in plants is also governed to a certain extent, by the soil pH. The maintenance of the most suitable value of pH, is thus, essential for the conservation of soil.
Water the soil: We water plants, we water the crops, but do we water the soil? If the answer is negative, it is high time we adopt the method of watering soil as a measure of conserving soil. Watering the soil along with the plants is a way to prevent soil erosion caused by wind. Salinity management: The salinity of soil that is caused by the excessive accumulation of salts, has a negative effect on the metabolism of the crops in soil. Salinity of soil is detrimental to the vegetative life in the soil. The death of vegetation is bound to cause soil erosion.
Hence, salinity management is one of the indirect ways to conserve soil. Soil organisms: Organisms like earthworms and others benefiting the soil should be promoted. Earthworms, through aeration of soil, enhance the availability of macronutrients in soil. They also enhance the porosity of soil. The helpful organisms of soil promote its fertility and form an element in the conservation of soil. Indigenous Crops: Planting of native crops is known to be beneficial for soil conservation. If non-native plants are grown, the fields should be bordered by indigenous crops to prevent soil erosion and achieve soil conservation.