Land Use and Management Practices1. Plant cover2. Select appropriate land use3. Maintain organic matter4. Maintain crop residue cover5. Reduce tillage6. Use zero tillage and direct seeding7. Grow forage and crop rotation8. Improve drainage9. Terracing
PLANT COVER Protect the soil from erosive power of water movement and raindrop impact. Also hold soil particle together.
Select Appropriate Land Use Should consider the potential for soil erosion under different practices. Example: steep and sloped land can be used for forage production. Wooded areas with poor soils and steep slopes can be managed as woodlots.
Maintain Organic Matter OM improve soil structure and tilth by cementing soil aggregates with aid of micro-organism. Soil with stable aggregates has more large pores to hold water; higher WHC,less ponding, less runoff and erosion. To maintain soil quality new additions of plant material= rate of OM decomposition & nutrients used by plants. Examples: rotations, manure applications and legume plowdown.
Maintain Crop Residue Cover Cover the soil surface with a cover of growing plants (crop residue). Reduce impact from raining. Slows the flow of water, giving soil time to absorb water; reduce runoff and erosion.
Reduce Tillage Conventional tillage disturb the soil and buries crop residue cover. Also loosen soil particles; easily detached by rain and running water. Tillage is reduced by replacing tillage operation with weed control, herbicide application and other alternative tillage equipment.
Use Zero Tillage or DirectSeeding Zero tillage minimize soil disturbance to maintain crop residue. Long term zero tillage increase soil OM content and improve soil fertility. Direct seeding also aim to conserve both soil moisture and soil structure but only differs whereas tillage is done at minimal rate. Most tillage practice to control weed is replaced with herbicide usage and management practices (crop and herbicide rotation). Save time and lowers operating costs.
Grow Forges and crop rotations Forges can be grown on poorer soils or steep slopes. Can use to build organic matter or break disease cycle. Crop rotation alternate forges with cereal or legumes. Legumes in the rotation also add nitrogen and improve soil fertility.
Improve drainage Drains are constructed to flow excess water on the field to be directed to rivers or pit. Should be maintained regularly to ensure drain is not clogged.
Terracing Control water erosion on wide slopes without well-developed channels. Water is collected at channels and move slowly towards the terrace outlet.