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Submitted to: - Pankaj Jain

Submitted By:- Mukesh Verma

Program :- BBA-MBA (Int.)
Section :- A
Reg. no. :- 3020070181

Firstly I would like to thank the God that He has made this
World and He gave birth us as a human beings and God has
given us a glorious gift i.e. our beautiful world and He made
each and everything which we are required to survive in this
world. He gave us beautiful plants, animals, air for breath,
water for living and many more things which are very
essential for the living and one which the most important
things without it we can’t do anything on this word i.e.
Earth on which live, walk and do all the activities to survive
in this world like farming. Farming can’t possible without
earth but in real sense our all agriculture is base on thin
layer of earth that is known as SOIL which most valuable &
essential for the farming because it has a large no of
nutrients . But in 21st century this valuable soil is decreasing

India is agriculture based country and most of the

population of India is engage in agriculture and the
agriculture area has a great contribution in National Income
or to development of country. In India there is a large
numbers of farmers who are engage in farming and they
know that the fertile Soil is very important for their good
crops. But due to the Soil Erosion their fertile soil is
decreasing day-today.

This report will help you to know about the soil, its forming
factors, causes of removing soil and how to control this
valuable soil & to sustain the lives.

Our Beautiful Word…………………………………..4
• Glorious Gift of Nature………………………….……….4

Our Earth……………………………………………...5
• Where we live…………………………………………....5
• What is Soil?......................................................................6
• Story of Soil……………………………………………...7
• Formation………………………………………………...8

The Five Forming Factors............................................9

1. Parent Material
2. Climate
3. Organisims
4. Time

Soil Erosion…………………………………………..11
• What is Soil Erosion?......................................................11
• Did you know …………………………………………..12
• Effects of Soil Erosion………………………………....14

Types of Soil Erosion………………………………..15

• Water Erosion…………………………………………...15
• Wind Erosion…………………………………………....17
• Gravitical Erosion…………………………………….…18
• Frozen-Melt Erosion…………………………………….19

Causes of Soil Erosion……………………………….21

• Climate Factor…………………………………………..22
• Soil Feature Factor………………………………….…..23
• Geological Factor………………………………………23
• Biological Factor………………………………………..25

Now Our Glorious Gift………………………………27

How to Control Soil Erosion………………………...30

1. Cover Method…………………………………………30
• Mulching
• Cover crops and green manures
• Green manures
• Mixed cropping and inter-cropping
• Early planting
• Crop residues
• Agroforestry
• Minimum cultivation

2. Barrier methods……………………………………….32
• Man-made terraces
• Contour ploughing
• Contour barriers
• Natural tracces

Methods for sloping land…………………………….34

Solution for Soil Erosion…………….........................35






Soil on which we live and do all those things for survive in this
world. Where we do all those activities like:-
Agriculture, Economic Activities to fulfill our wants.

What is Soil?
SOIL may be defined as a thin layer of earth's crust which
serves as a natural medium for growth of plants. It is the
unconsolidated mineral matter that has been subjected to, and
influenced by, genetic and environmental factors-- parent
material, climate, organisms and topography all acting over a
period of time. Soil differs from the parent material in the
morphological, physical , chemical and biological properties.
Also, soils differ among themselves in some or all the
properties, depending on the differences in the genetic and
environmental factors. Thus some soils are red, some are black;
some are deep and some are shallow; some are coarse textured
and some are fine-textured. They serve as a reservoir of
nutrients and water for crops, provide mechanical anchorage
and favourable tilth. The components of soil are mineral matter,
organic matter, water and air, the proportions of which vary and
which together form a system for plant growth; hence the need
to study the soils in perspective. Soil erosion is a natural
process. It becomes a problem when human activity causes it to
occur much faster than under natural conditions. Soil covers a
major portion of the earth's land surface. It is an important
natural resource that either directly or indirectly supports most
of the planet's life. Life here depends upon soil for food. Plants
are rooted in soil and obtain needed nutrients there. Animals get
their nutrients from plants or from other animals that eat plants.
Many animals make their homes or are sheltered in the soil.
Microbes in the soil cause the breakdown and decay of dead
organisms, a process that in turn adds more nutrients to the soil.

Soil is a mixture of mineral and organic materials plus air and

water. The contents of soil varies in different locations and is
constantly changing. There are many different kinds and types
of soils. Each has certain characteristics including a specific
color and composition. Different kinds of soils support the
growth of different types of plants and also determine how well
that plant life grows. Soil is formed slowly, but can be easily
destroyed. Therefore, soil conservation is important for
continued support of life.*

Story of Soil
Although many of us don't think about the ground beneath us or
the soil that we walk on each day, the truth is soil is a very
important resource. Processes take place over thousands of
years to create a small amount of soil material. Unfortunately
the most valuable soil is often used for building purposes or is
unprotected and erodes away. To protect this vital natural
resource and to sustain the world's growing housing and food
requirements it is important to learn about soil, how soil forms,
and natural reactions that occur in soil to sustain healthy plant
growth and purify water. Soil is important to the livelihood of
plants, animals, and humans. However, soil quality and quantity
can be and is adversely affected by human activity and misuse
of soil.

Certain soils are best used for growing crops that humans and
animals consume, and for building airports, cities, and roads.
Other types of soil have limitations that prevent them from
being built upon and must be left alone. Often these soils
provide habitats for living creatures both in the soil and atop the
soil. One example of soils that have use limitations are those
that hold lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Humans don't
normally establish their homes in these places, but fish and
waterfowl find homes here, as do the wildlife that live around
these bodies of water.

Natural processes that occur on the surface of Earth as well as

alterations made to earth material over long periods of time
form thousands of different soil types. In the United States alone
there are over 50,000 different soils! Specific factors are

involved in forming soil and these factors vary worldwide,
creating varied soil combinations and soil properties worldwide.

Soil formation, or pedogenesis, is the combined effect of
physical, chemical, biological, and anthropogenic processes on
soil parent material resulting in the formation of soil horizons.
Soil is always changing. The long periods over which change
occurs and the multiple influences of change mean that simple
soils are rare. While soil can achieve relative stability in
properties for extended periods of time, the soil life cycle
ultimately ends in soil conditions that leave it vulnerable to
erosion. Little of the soil continuum of the earth is older than
Tertiary and most no older than Pleistocene.[7] Despite the
inevitability of soils retrogression and degradation, most soil
cycles are long and productive. How the soil "life" cycle
proceeds is influenced by at least five classic soil forming
factors: regional climate, biotic potential, topography, parent
material, and the passage of time.

An example of soil development from bare rock occurs on

recent lava flows in warm regions under heavy and very
frequent rainfall. In such climates plants become established
very quickly on basaltic lava, even though there is very little
organic material. The plants are supported by the porous rock
becoming filled with nutrient bearing water, for example
carrying dissolved bird droppings or guano. The developing
plant roots themselves gradually breaks up the porous lava and
organic matter soon accumulates but, even before it does, the
predominantly porous broken lava in which the plant roots grow
can be considered a soil.

The Four Soil Forming Factors

1. Parent material: The primary material from which the soil is
formed. Soil parent material could be bedrock, organic material,
an old soil surface, or a deposit from water, wind, glaciers,
volcanoes, or material moving down a slope.

2. climate: Weathering forces such as heat, rain, ice, snow,

wind, sunshine, and other environmental forces, break down
parent material and affect how fast or slow soil formation
processes go.

3. Organisms: All plants and animals living in or on the soil

(including micro-organisms and humans!). The amount of water
and nutrients, plants need affects the way soil forms. The way
humans use soils affects soil formation. Also, animals living in
the soil affect decomposition of waste materials and how soil
materials will be moved around in the soil profile. On the soil
surface remains of dead plants and animals are worked by
microorganisms and eventually become organic matter that is
incorporated into the soil and enriches the soil.

4. Time: All of the above factors assert themselves over time,

often hundreds or thousands of years. Soil profiles continually
change from weakly developed to well developed over time.

Differences in soil forming factors from one location
to another influence the process of soil formation

Image courtesy of the United States Department of
Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service


What is soil erosion?
Soil is naturally removed by the action of water or wind: such
'background' (or 'geological') soil erosion has been occurring for
some 450 million years, since the first land plants formed the
first soil. Even before this, natural processes moved loose rock,
or regolith, off the Earth's surface, just as has happened on the
planet Mars.

In general, background erosion removes soil at roughly the

same rate as soil is formed. But 'accelerated' soil erosion — loss
of soil at a much faster rate than it is formed — is a far more
recent problem. It is always a result of mankind's unwise
actions, such as overgrazing or unsuitable cultivation practices.
These leave the land unprotected and vulnerable. Then, during
times of erosive rainfall or windstorms, soil may be detached,
transported, and (possibly travelling a long distance) deposited.

Accelerated soil erosion by water or wind may affect both

agricultural areas and the natural environment, and is one of the
most widespread of today's environmental problems. It has
impacts which are both on-site (at the place where the soil is
detached) and off-site (wherever the eroded soil ends up).

More recently still, the use of powerful agricultural implements

has, in some parts of the world, led to damaging amounts of soil
moving downslope merely under the action of gravity: this is
so-called tillage erosion.

Soil erosion is just one form of soil degradation. Other kinds of

soil degradationinclude salinisation, nutrient loss, and
compaction. Soil erosion is when the soil is blown away by the
wind or washed away by the rain.

Soil erosion is common in areas with steep slopes, where trees

have been cut down, in droughts when crops and other
vegetation grows poorly and in rural areas which are
overpopulated. Nepal, in the Himalayan Mountains, has severe
problems caused by increased population density and steep
slopes. Soil erosion can be reduced by building terraces on
hillsides, irrigation schemes to overcome droughts, planting
more trees to bind the soil together and make wind breaks, and
using fertilisers in overpopulated areas to make the soil more
fertile. It is very important that the farming techniques used do
not damage the structure of the soil, as this makes it easily
eroded. Good farming techniques include contour ploughing,
crop rotation and keeping the soil rich in humus. An example of
poor techniques was the "Dust Bowl" in the mid-western states
of the U.S.A. in the 1930's. Farmers exhausted the soil by
monoculture and left the soil bare after harvesting. Soil erosion
is a problem of the developed world as well as the developing.*

Did you know

Annual soil loss in South Africa is estimated at 300 - 400
million tonnes, nearly three tonnes for each hectare of land.

Replacing the soil nutrients carried out to sea by our rivers each
year, with fertilizer, would cost R1000 million.

For every tonne of maize, wheat, sugar or other agricultural

crop produced, South Africa loses an average of 20 tonnes of

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation, a branch of

United Nations) estimates that the global loss of productive land
through erosion is 5-7 million ha/year.

Animal Overgazing 13
More More Deforestrtion
People Firefood Bare Soil

More crops

Insects eat
The land provides



* http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/Envfacts/facts/erosion.htm


The loss of soil by the action of rainfall, run off or wind
The consequences of which:

Eroded soil may be deposited on other land or in water

courses, rivers, lakes, estuaries

Worldwide up to 75 billion tonnes of topsoil are eroded

every year equating to:

. 9 million ha. of productive land lost

80% of worlds agricultural soils are affected by erosion.

Thompson (1995)
Increasing sea level




Types of Soil Erosion

Water erosion
Raindrops can be a major problem for farmers when they strike
bare soil. With an impact of up to 30 mph, rain washes out seed
and splashes soil into the air. If the fields are on a slope the soil
is splashed downhill which causes deterioration of soil structure.
Soil that has been detached by raindrops is more easily moved
than soil that has not been detached. Sheet erosion is caused by
raindrops. Other types of erosion caused by rainfall include rill
erosion and gullies.

Sheet erosion is defined as the uniform removal of soil in thin

layers from sloping land. This, of course, is nearly impossible;
in reality the loose soil merely runs off with the rain.

Rill erosion is the most common form of erosion. Although its

effects can be easily removed by tillage, it is the most often
overlooked. It occurs when soil is removed by water from little
streamlets that run through land with poor surface draining.
Rills can often be found in between crop rows.

Gullies are larger
than rills and
cannot be fixed
by tillage. Gully
erosion is an
advanced stage of
rill erosion, just as
rills are often the
result of sheet

Once rills are large enough to restrict vehicular access they are
referred to as gullies or gully erosion. Major concentrations of
high-velocity run-off water in these larger rills remove vast
amounts of soil. This results in deeply incised gullies occurring
along depressions and drainage lines.

Wind erosion
Wind erosion is the movement and deposition of soil particles
by wind.

Wind erosion occurs when soils bared of vegetation are exposed

to high-velocity wind. When its velocity overcomes the
gravitational and cohesive forces of the soil particles, wind will
move soil and carry it away in suspension.1 Wind moves soil
particles 0.1-0.5 mm in size in hopping or bouncing fashion
(known as saltation) and those greater than 0.5 mm by rolling
(known as soil creep). The finest particles (less than 0.1 mm)
detach into suspension. 1 Wind erosion is most visible during
the suspension stage, as dust storms, or subsequently as
deposition along fencelines and across roads.The process sorts
soil particles, removing the finer material containing the organic
matter, clay and silt through suspension and leaving the coarser,
less fertile material behind. In the short term this reduces the
productive capacity of soil, as most of the nutrients plants need
are attached to the smaller colloidal soil fraction. Over a longer
period the physical nature of the soil changes as the subsoil is
exposed.1 Wind erosion also causes damage to public utilities,
for example soil deposition across roads, and reduces crops
through sandblasting.2 It has been estimated that 700 000 ha in
Victoria are affected, with another 2 800 000 ha susceptible
when poor management and unfavourable weather conditions
combine. The associated loss in production costs $3 million

Wind erosion, unlike water, cannot be divided into such distinct
types. Occurring mostly in flat, dry areas and moist sandy soils
along bodies of water, wind erosion removes soil and natural
vegetation, and causes dryness and deterioration of soil
structure. Surface texture is the best key to wind erosion hazard
potential. All mucks, sands, and loamy sands can easily be
detached and blown away by the wind, and thus are rated a
severe hazard. Sandy loams are also vulnerable to wind, but are
not as susceptible to severe wind erosion as the previously
mentioned soils. Regular loams, silt loams, and clay loams, and
clays are not damaged by the wind, but on wide level plains,
there may be a loss of fine silts, clays, and some organic matter.

Gravitical erosion
In mass movement of soil - slides, slips, slumps, flows and
landslides - gravity is the principal force acting to move surface
materials such as soil and rock.1 When natural slope stability is
disrupted, a range of complex sliding movements may occur.
Detailed classification requires analysis beyond the scope of this
guide. As a rule of thumb, rapid movements of soil or rock that
behave separately from the underlying stationary material and
involve one distinct sliding surface are termed landslides. A
slower long-term deformation having a series of sliding surfaces
and exhibiting viscous movement is termed 'creep'. Such
movement is rarely the result of a single factor, but more often
the final act in a series of processes involving slope, geology,
soil type, vegetation type, water, external loads and lateral
support.mass movement.

Generally mass movement occurs when the weight (shear

stress) of the surface material on the slope exceeds the
restraining (shear strength) ability of that material. Factors
increasing shear stress include erosion or excavation
undermining the foot of a slope, loads of buildings or
embankments, and loss of stabilising roots through removal of
vegetation. Vegetation removal and consequent lower water use
may increase soil water levels, causing an increase in pore water
pressure within the soil profile.2 Increased pore water pressure
or greater water absorption may weaken inter-granular bonds,
reducing internal friction and therefore lessening the cohesive
strength of the soil and ultimately the stability of the slope.

Frozen-melt erosion
When water freezes, it expands suddenly and with tremendous
force. When water inside a crack in a rock freezes, its expansive
strength may be sufficient to crack the rock and to break parts
off it. Frost is tremendously active in snow-covered mountains,
particularly along the snow
boundary where water repeatedly
thaws and freezes. It causes steep
cliffs in this region.
A particularly mysterious form of
frost damage is frost heave, resulting in damaged roads,
buildings and cropland. It appears as if the frost heaved sections
of the land upward, by as much as 20cm and usually in very
irregular ways. As can be expected, frost heave works with the
strength of frost.
Frost heave is not predictable but happens after a deep frost
period, followed by thawing and freezing again, and a few
repeats of this sequence. In permafrost soils of the arctic, it
causes engineering headaches that have to be met with special
Frost heave can be understood as follows: a deep frost, or
permafrost freezes the soil to a certain depth. When this frost
thaws incompletely, it leaves a frozen layer behind. Underneath
it, the soil may still be thawed but in permafrost places, this
frozen bottom is always present. Above it, melting water
collects. A repeated frost now freezes it again from the top
down, forming a hard layer on top with water in between the
two frozen layers. As the frost progresses deeper, the entire top
layer is pushed up a few centimetres. The next thawing/freezing
cycle repeats this, ratcheting the top layer higher and higher, and
always with the same force. Only when the deepest layer is
thawed again, will frost heaving stop.
It is not known how much erosion is caused by frost heaving,
but it can damage soil structure.





Causes of Soil Erosion

Erosion is an incluxive term for the detachment and removal
of soil and rock by the action of running water, wind, waves,
flowing ice, and mass movement. on hillslopes in most parts
of the world the dominant processes are action by raindrops,
running water, subsurface water, and mass wasting. The
activity of waves, ice, or wind may be regarded as special
cases restricted to particular environment.
Climate and geology are the most important influences on
erosion with soil character and vegetation being dependent
upon them and interrelated with each other. The web of
relationships between the factors which influence erosion is
extremly complex. Vegegation, for example, is dependent
upon climate, especially rainfall and temperature, and upon
the soil which is derived from the weathered rock forming
the topography. Vegetation in its turn influences the soil
through the action of roots, take-up of nutrients, and
provision of organic matter, and it protect the soil from
erosion. The importance of this feedback is most obvious
when the vegetation cover is inadequate to protect the soil,
for eroded soil cannot support a close vegetation cover. The
operation of the factors which influence erosion is most
readily seen in their effect upon the disposition of storm
rainfall. By comparison with the high runoff from an eroded
catchment a well-vegetated catchment with a permeable soil
will experience higher infiltration, lower surface runoff, and
less surface erosion.
Erosion is a function of the eroding power of raindrops,
running water, and sliding or flowing earth masse, and the
erodibility of the soil, or:
Erosion=f(Erosivity, Erodibility).

Climate factor
The major climatic factors which influence runoff and
erosion are precipitation, temperature, and wind.
Precipitation is by far the most important. Temperature
affects runoff by contributing to changes in soil moisture
between tains, it determines whether the precipitation will
be in the form of rain or snow, and it changes the absorptive
properties of the soil for sater by causing the soil to freeze.
Ice in the soil, particularly needle ice, can be very effective
in raising part of the surface of bare soil and thus making it
more asily removed by rnuoff or wind. The wind effect
includes the power to pick up and carry fine soil particles,
the influence it exerts on the angle and impact of raindrops
and, more rarely, its effect on vegetation, especially by
wind-throw of trees.
Many reports of soil erosion phenomena have their value
limited by uncertainties in the terminology used,
consequently the key terms are defined here.
Raindrop erosion is recognized as being responsible for four
effects: (1) disaggregation of soil aggregates as a result of
impact; (2) minor lateral displacement of soil particles (a
process sometimes referred to as creep );(3) splashing of soil
particles into the air (sometimes called saltation); (4)
selection or sorting of soil particles by raindrop impact
which may occur as a result of two effects-(a) the forcing of
fine-grained particles into soil voids causing the infiltration
rate to be reduced and (b)selective splashing of detached
grains. wash is the process in which soil particles are
entrained and transported by shallow sheet flows (overland

flow). Rainwash is the combined effect from raindrops
falling into a sheet flow.

Soil feature factor

The soil factor is expressed in the erodibility of the soil.
Erodibility, unlike the determination of erosivity of rainfall,
is difficult to measure and no universal method of
measurement has been developed. The main reason for this
deficiency is that into two groups: those which are the actual
physical features of the soil; and those which are the result
of human use of the soil.
The resistance of soil to detachment by raindrop impact
depends upon its shear strength, that is its cohesion (c) and
angle of friction. It is difficult, in practice, to measure the
appropriate values of c and for grains at the suface of a soil
or soil crust, partly because of variability in the size,
packing, and shape of particles and partly because of the
varying degrees of wetting and submergence of grains by
water. More success has been achieved with simplw
rotational shear vanes than with most other methods.
Many attempts have been made to relate the amount of
erosion from a soil to its physical characterisics. Pinoneer
work in this field was done in North American in the 1930s.
Bouyoucos (1935) suggested that erodibility is related to the
sizes of the particles of the soil in the ratio:
(per cent sand +percent silt)/percent clay

Geological factor
This factor is evident in the steepness and length of slopes.
Nearly all of the experimental work on the slope effect has
assumed that the slopes are undercultivation. In such
conditions raindrop splash will move material further down
steep slopes than down gentle ones, there is likely to be
more runoff, and runoff velocities will be faster. Because of
this combination of factors the amount of erosion is not just
proportional to the steepness of the slope, but rises rapidly
with increasing angle. Mathematically the relationship is:
where E is the erosion, S
the slope in per cent, and a
is an exponent.
Values of a derived
experimental range from
1.35 to 2.

The lengh of slope has a similar effect upon soil loss,

because on a long slope there can be a greater depth and

velocity of overland flow, and rills can develop more readily
than on short slopes. Because there is a greater area of land
on long than on short slope facets of the same width, it is
necessary to distinguish between total soil loss and soil loss
per unit area. The relationship between soil loss and slope
length may be expressed as: EµLb
Where E is the soil loss per unit area, L is the length of
slope, and b is an exponent. In a series of experiments Zingg
found that the values of b are around 0.6 but experiments
elsewhere indicated that a rather higher value is more

Biological factor
Vegetation offsets the effects on erosion of the other factors-
clmate, topography, and soil characteristics. The major
effects of vegetation fall into at least seven main categories:
(1) the interception of rainfall by the vegetation canopy;
(2) the decreasing of velocity of runoff, and hence the
cutting action of water and its capacity to entrain sediment;
(3) root effects in increasing soil strength, granulation, and
(4) biological activityies associated with vegetative growth
and their influence on soil porosity;
(5) the transpiration of water, leading to the subsequent
drying out of the soil;
(6) insulation of the soil against high and low temperatures
which cause cracking or frost heaving and needle ice
(7) compaction of underlying soil.The importance of plants
Plants provide protective cover on the land and prevent soil
erosion for the following reasons:

plants slow down water as it flows over the land (runoff)

and this allows much of the rain to soak into the ground;
Plant roots hold the soil in position and prevent it from
being washed away;
Plants break the impact of a raindrop before it hits the soil,
thus reducing its ability to erode;
Plants in wetlands and on the banks of rivers are of
particular importance as they slow down the flow of the
water and their roots bind the soil, thus preventing erosion.
The loss of protective vegetation through deforestation,
over-grazing, ploughing, and fire makes soil vulnerable to
being swept away by wind and water. In addition, over-
cultivation and compaction cause the soil to lose its
structure and cohesion and it becomes more easily eroded.
Erosion will remove the top-soil first. Once this nutrient-
rich layer of soil is gone, few plants will grow in the soil
again. Without soil and plants the land becomes desert-like
and unable to support life - this process is called
desertification. It is very difficult and often impossible to
restore desertified land.


How to control soil erosion

COVER methods
These methods all protect the soil from the damaging effects of
rain-drop impact. Most will also improve soil fertility.
Bare soil between growing plants is covered with a layer of
organic matter such as straw, grasses, leaves and rice husks -
anything readily available. Mulching also keeps the soil moist,
reduces weeding, keeps the soil cool and adds organic matter. If
termites are a problem, keep the mulch away from the stems of
Cover crops and green manures
Cover crops are a kind of living mulch. They are plants - usually
legumes - which are grown to cover the soil, also reducing
weeds. Sometimes they are grown under fruit trees or taller,
slow maturing crops. Sometimes they also produce food or
fodder. Cowpeas, for example may be used both as a cover crop
and a food crop.
Green manures - also usually legumes - are planted specially to
improve soil fertility by returning fresh leafy material to the
soil. They may be plants that are grown for 1-2 months between
harvesting one crop and planting the next. The leaves may be
cut and left on the surface of the soil as a mulch or the whole
plant dug into the soil. Green manures may also be trees or
hedges which may grow for many years in a cropping field from
which green leaves are regularly cut for use as mulch (alley
Mixed cropping and inter-cropping
By growing a variety of crops - perhaps mixed together, in
alternate rows, or sown at different times - the soil is better
protected from rain splash.
Early planting
The period at the beginning of the rainy season when the soil is
prepared for planting, is when the damage from rain splash is
often worst. Sowing early will make the period when the soil is
bare, as short as possible.
Crop residues
After harvest, unless the next crop is to be immediately
replanted, it is a good idea to leave the stalks, stems and leaves
of the crop just harvested, lying on the soil. They will give some
cover protection until the next crop develops.
Planting trees among agricultural crops helps to protect the soil
from erosion, particularly after crops are harvested. The trees
will give some protection from rain splash. Fruit, trees, legume
trees for fodder or firewood and alley cropping all help reduce
soil erosion.
Minimum cultivation
Each time the soil is dug or ploughed, it is exposed to erosion.

In some soils it may be possible to sow crops without ploughing
or digging, ideally among the crop residue from the previous
crop. This is most likely to be possible in a loose soil with
plenty of organic matter.
2. BARRIER methods
Barrier methods all slow the flow of water down a slope. This
greatly reduces the amount of soil which run-off water can carry
away and conserves water. Any kind of barrier should work. To
be effective any barrier must follow the contour lines.
Man-made terraces
In some countries terracing has been successfully practised for
centuries - the Philippines, Peru and Nepal, for example. Well-
built terraces are one of the most effective methods of
controlling soil erosion, especially on steep slopes. However,
terraces require skill and very hard work to build. Each terrace
is levelled - first by levelling the sub-soil, then the top soil - and
firm side supports are built, often of rock. Man-made terraces
are unlikely to be an appropriate method in countries with no
tradition of terrace building.
Contour ploughing
Whenever possible all land should be ploughed along the
contour line - never up and down, since this simply encourages
erosion. In some cultures this may be very difficult due to the
pattern of land inheritance. For example the Luo people in
Western Kenya inherit land in long strips running down to the
river valleys, making contour ploughing extremely difficult.
Soil conservation programmes may need to consider land
redistribution schemes, or neighbouring farmers will have to
work together.
Contour barriers
Almost any available material can be used to build barriers
along the contours. Here are some examples: old crop stalks and
leaves, stones, grass strips, ridges and ditches strengthened by
planting with grass or trees.
Natural terraces
David Stockley encourages the use of grass strips. He writes...
‘Why do so much hard work (building terraces) when nature
can do it for less? Let us make use of natural erosion. We
planted grass along the contour lines. We used fibrous grasses
with a dense root system such as Napier grass, Guatemala grass
and Guinea grass. The strips of land in between were cultivated.
As the soil is cultivated, nature moves the soil to form a natural
terrace. The rainwater passes through the grass strip, depositing
any soil carried behind the grass. In our experience in
Bangladesh and Brazil, rains formed natural terraces within five
years. Once well established, the grass barrier can be planted
with banana, pineapple, coffee, fruit or firewood trees.’
Vetiver grass has been very effective in grass strips. It does not
spread onto cultivated soil, it produces sterile seeds, has few
pest problems and can survive in a wide range of climates.
For more information about Vetiver grass, write to:
Vetiver Information Network, World Bank,1818 High Street
Washington DC 20433, USA
Medias lunas
This is a helpful system for reclaiming badly eroded land which
has been used successfully in Bolivia. Medias lunas or crescent
shaped depressions are built on sloping land. The crescent
shapes are built at the end of the rainy season so the ridges made
can be compacted well. The crescent collects the rainwater and
soil. Trees - usually legumes - are planted when the next rainy
season begins and protected by thorn branches from grazing
animals. After 3 or 4 years each media luna will be covered with
vegetation. Later, as the soil continues to improve, crops may be
grown in the medias lunas.

1. to prevent erosion of bare soil, it is important to maintain a
vegetation cover, especially in the most vulnerable areas e.g.
those with steep slopes, a dry season or periods of very heavy
rainfall. To do this may mean only partially harvesting forests
(e.g. alternate trees) and using seasonally dry or wet areas for
pastoral rather than arable agriculture.

2. where intensive cultivation takes place, farmers should use a

crop rotation in order to prevent the soil becoming exhausted.
Where soils are ploughed in vulnerable areas, contour ploughing
(i.e. round the hillside rather than down the hillside) should be
Careful management of irrigation, to prevent the application of
too much or too little water, should help reduce the problem of

3. livestock grazing rates must be carefully managed to prevent


4. perhaps we must attempt to restrict highway construction and

urbanisation to areas of lower agricultural potential. With
extractive industries, a pledge must be secured to restore the
land to its former condition before planning permission for
quarries or mines is granted.



 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil#Characteristics

 http://42explore.com/dirt.htm

 http://staffweb.wilkes.edu/brian.oram/soilformingfactors.h
 http://www.scalloway.org.uk/phye6.htm
 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/Envfacts/facts/erosion.htm

 http://www.ecifm.rdg.ac.uk/erosion.htm
 http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/87-
 http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/87-
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_erosion
 www.uni-
 http://images.google.co.in/images?hl=en&q=Soil+Erosion
 BOOK: Soil Erosion: Processes, Predicition,
Measurement, and Control. By Terrence J. Toy,
George R. Foster, Kenneth G. Renard
Page no. 133-157 and 203-239