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Soil Conservation Methods

You Can Adopt Any of These 10 Ingenious Soil Conservation Methods

Soil defines the ecology around it, and hence it is important for us to opt for soil conservation methods. Let us look at the soil conservation practices used around the world.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Soil conservation is maintaining good soil health by various practices. The aim of soil conservation is to prevent soil erosion, prevent soil's overuse, and prevent soil contamination from chemicals. There are various measures that are used to maintain soil health and prevent the above harms.
Soil Conservation Strategies
There are many ways to conserve soil, some are suited to those areas where farming is done, and some are according to the soil needs.

Here are the various soil conservation practices.
Planting Vegetation
Soybean next to corn field ripening at spring season
This is one of the most effective and cost saving strategies. This measure is a technique used by farmers. By planting trees, grass, and plants, soil erosion can be greatly prevented. Plants help to stabilize the properties of soil, and trees act as a wind barrier, and prevent soil from being blown away.
Mother and daughter planting flowers together
This is also used in urban areas, where one can plant trees and plants in the landscape areas of the residential places. The best choices for vegetation are herbs, small trees, plants with wild flowers, and creepers which provide a ground cover.
Contour Plowing
Contour farming
Contour farming or plowing is used by farmers, wherein they plow across a slope and follow the elevation contour lines. This method prevents water run-off, and thus prevents soil erosion by allowing water to slowly penetrate the soil.
Maintaining the Soil pH
The measurement of soil's acidity or alkalinity is done by measuring the soil pH levels. Soil gets polluted due to the addition of basic or acidic pollutants which can be countered by maintaining the desirable pH of soil.
Soil Organisms
Composting worms
Without the activities performed by soil organisms, the organic material required by plants won't be available for plant growth. Using beneficial soil organisms like earthworms, helps in aeration of soil and makes the macro-nutrients available for the plants. Thus, the soil becomes more fertile and porous.
Crop Rotation Practice
Carrot in field
Crop rotation is the method where a series of different crops are planted one after the other in the same area. This method is used greatly in organic farming. It is done to prevent the accumulation of pathogens, which occur if the same plants are grown in the soil, and also to avert depletion of nutrients.
Watering the Soil
Watering the ground
We water plants and trees, but it is equally important to water soil to maintain its health. Soil erosion occurs if the soil is blown away by wind. By watering and settling the soil, one can prevent soil erosion from the blowing wind. One of the effective conservation ways in India is the drip irrigation system which provides water to the soil without the water running-off.
Salinity Management
Excessive collection of salts in the soil has harmful effects on the metabolism of plants. Salinity can lead to death of the vegetation and thus cause soil erosion, which is why salinity management is important.
Farm Terracing
Terracing is among one of the best soil conservation methods, where cultivation is done on a terrace leveled section of land. In terracing, farming is done on a unique step like structure and the force of water running off is slowed down.
Bordering from Indigenous Crops
It is preferable to native plants, but when native plants are not planted, then bordering the crops with indigenous crops is necessary. This helps to prevent soil erosion, and this measure is greatly opted in poor rural areas.
These were the 10 ways to conserve soil. Soil is a very important constituent, and is developed by a long process of weathering and disintegration of rocks, which turn into sand or clay. The clay like fertile soil provides a home to organisms like earthworms, beetles, and ants. Soil provides anchorage to plants and trees. The plants and trees provide a home to birds and animals. The crops growing on the soil provide us food and clothes. Thus, soil defines the quality of life around it, which is why it is important to use these methods. Branches of environmental science like Earth science are constantly trying to find new methods for maintaining the ecological balance. In different parts of world people studying soil science are coming up with different new beneficial soil conservation techniques.