Soil erosion removes the organic matter, nutrients and the microorganisms which are vital for the plants and to any arable land. Not only is this soil crucial for the people because almost all of the food is plant-based, and it is also an important issue because most of the soil which is lost ends up in rivers, lakes and other natural water sources, which pollutes them because of the fertilizers and pesticides used for agriculture.
There are ways in agriculture to help stop or limit soil erosion, but there are some ways which everyone else should keep in mind too:
- Use paving stones for your patio or driveway instead of a concrete slab, because water can penetrate them and get to the soil.
- Make a “rain garden” in your garden. It is a depression in the garden which will collect rain water and will help prevent the erosion of the soil, plus you can grow some wetland plants there too.
- Place a rain barrel beneath the gutter to collect the rain water from the roof. You can use the water later for watering your garden or other, and will help you save not only the soil but water as well.
Resource planning soil conservation
- Plant shrubs or trees to act as windbreaks. This will not only protect the road from strong wind but will also protect the soil from the wind.
- Wetlands – they absorb rain water, help prevent water pollution and are a natural habitat for wildlife.
- Plant buffer strips of shrubs, trees or grasses beside stream banks to keep the banks intact when there is flooding, and help prevent overflowing.
- Restore forestation which can act as a windbreaker as well as a perfect way to keep the soil in place.
Agricultural methods to conserve soil
- No-till farming is possibly the best method to ensure that the soil remains intact. This means leaving the plants without plowing them away at the end of the harvest.
- Terrace faming – farming on series of terraces allows for slowing the water flow, and helps prevent soil erosion.
- Contour farming is similar to terrace farming but smaller, where the plant are planted on different levels, to follow the contour of the terrain. Once again, this helps slow down the water flow and keeps the soil safe.