Soil Conservation And Its Different Methods And Measures Guided by: Mr.Gajendra Dixit PRIYANKA YADAVResearch Scholar, MCAThakur Institute of Management Studies, Career Development and Research (TIMSCDR) MUMBAI, INDIA AbstractSoil Conversion is method or process of preventing soil loss from different factors like reduced fertility or erosion which are caused by over usage of soil, salinization, acidification, and chemicals.Keywords-Soil erosion, soil weathering, conservation of resources, vegetation.I. INTRODUCTION Agriculture is the largest user of soil and water. It is cortical to sustainable development. The green revolution considered the irrigated tracts, so if the target of over 4% agriculture growth in national agriculture policy is to be achieved, all areas where rain-fed farming is predominant will need to contribute substantially to increase output an augment food security by producing marketable surplus more reliably.Soil and water are two natural resources which are the base or bottom of human society. In this context, very high priority has been accorded to the holistic and sustainable development of rain-fed areas based on the watershed approach 1.Soil-conservation farming contains green manures and also alternative different soil-enhancing practices. Such farming ways decide to mimic the biology of barren lands. They can revive damaged or broken soil, minimize erosion, encourage plant growth, eliminate the use of nitrogen fertilizer or fungicide, produce above-average yields and defend crops during droughts or flooding 3. This results in less labor and lower cost that increases farmer’s profits. No-till farming and canopy crops act as sinks for nitrogen and alternative nutrients. This will increase the quantity of soil organic matterRepeated plowing or cultivation degrades the standard of soil, killing its helpful fungi and earthworms. Once it is damaged, the soil could take multiple seasons to completely recover, even in optimum circumstances 5.Critics argue that no-till and related methods are impractical and too pricey for many growers, partly as a result it needs new equipment. Some farmers claimed that no-till complicates weed control.II. TEN WAYS TO CONSERVE SOILPlant 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. 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 stone walling is a method used to create terraces in which stone structures are created without using mortar for binding. No-till Farming: When the soil is prepared for farming by plowing 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 the 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 plowing 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 plowing 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 the soil. Soil pH is one of the determinants of the availability of nutrients in the 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. The 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 the soil. They also enhance the porosity of the 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.III. TYPES OF SOIL CONSERVATION MEASURESCertain conservation measures can reduce or scale back soil erosion. Soil/land management practices such as tillage and cropping practices, directly affect the overall soil erosion problem and solutions on a farm. When crop rotation or dynamic tillage practices aren’t enough to control erosion on a field, a combination of measures might be necessary. For example, contour plowing, strip cropping, or terracing could also be thought of.Different types of conservation measures:Vegetative: such as planting barriers (vegetative strips), live fences, windbreaksOverall management: such as area closures, selective clearingStructural: such as Fanya Julius, terraces, banks, bunds, cut off drains, barriersAgronomic: such as plant/soil cover, conservation farming ways, contour farmingField Strip Cropping: Strips of the crop are parallel to the overall slope of the land.Wind Strip Cropping: Strips of the crop are in the direction of wind regardless or no matter of contour.Buffer Strip Cropping: In this, the severally eroded/worn portion of land is permanently kept under grass and contour strip cropping is practiced in the rest of the area.Contour strip Cropping: Contour strip cropping is that the growth of erosion permitting and erosion resisting crops alternately in strips across the slope and on the isometric line. This practice is beneficial because it checks the quick flow of run-off water increases the infiltration of water in the soil and prevents soil eroding 1.IV. AGRONOMIC METHODSUse of vegetation: Crops and vegetables which cover the ground surface well and have extensive depth root system reduce soil erosion. Plant canopy protects the soil from the adverse effect of rainfall. The grasses and legumes produce dense sod which helps in reducing soil eroding. The vegetation provides organic matter to the soil. And therefore, the fertility of soil increases and the physical condition of soil is improvedStrip cropping: It consists of growing erosion allowing crop (e.g. Jowar, Bajra, Maize etc.) in alternate strips with erosion checking close-growing crops (e.g. grasses, pulses etc.). Strip cropping employs many sensible farming practices together with crop rotation, contour cultivation, correct tillage, stubbles mulching, cover cropping etc. It is very much effective and practical means for controlling soil erosion, especially for gently sloping land.Afforestation: Afforestation suggests that growth in forests wherever there have been no forests before due to lack of seed trees or because of adverse factors such as unstable soil, aridity or sappiness. Along with afforestation, reforestation ought to be undertaken which suggests replanting of forests at places where they have been destroyed by uncontrolled forest fires, excessive felling, and lopping. Afforestation is the best way or method to examine the soil erosion. Lutz and Chandler (1946) suggested the below points in support of vegetation check erosion as follows:Infiltration of water is favored as a result of the high porosity of soil under vegetation. Percolation of water helps in stopping the soil moisture which accelerates further growth of the vegetation.Surface accumulation of organic matter increases the water holding capability of the underground soil.The root system of vegetation holds the soil mechanically or automatically and provides stability of the underground soil.It gives the protection against wind. The forest vegetation shields the soil from the direct effect of drought, snow, and rain 2.V. MECHANICAL MEASURESMechanical measures include or embody various engineering techniques and structure. These practices aim at some objective as followsTo divide a long/protracted slope of land into a series of shorter ones so as to reduce the velocity of runoff water.To retain the water within the land for a long period so as to allow maximum water to be absorbed and held in the soil and fewer water flows down the slope of the land at a non-erosive velocity.To protect the soil against erosion by water.The necessary mechanical soil conservation measures are as follows:Contour bunding – Contour bunding consists of building earthen embankment at an intervening or interval across the slope and on the isometric line of the field. A series of such bund divide the area into strips and act as a barrier to the flow of water. As a result, the quantity and velocity of run-off are reduced, ensuing reducing the soil erosion. Contour bunding is formed toward on land wherever the slope is not terribly steep and the soil is fairly permeable. Contour bunds are also called level terraces, absorption type terraces or ridge type teracces. Contour bunding works are administered over wide areas in several parts of India, notably in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.Terracing – A terrace is an embankment of the ridge of earth constructed across the slope to manage runoff and to reduce soil erosion. A terrace reduces the length of the hillside slope, thereby reducing sheet and rill erosion and prevents the formation of gullies. There are different types of terraces as follows:Bench terracing: It consists of transforming or converting relatively steeps land into a series of level or nearly level strips or steeps running across the slope. The soil materials that are excavated from the upper or higher part of the terrace is used in filling the lower part and a small bund is also raised along the outer edge of the terrace to check the downward flow of rainwater and also soil erosion.Channel terrace: It consists of the construction of wide but shallow channels across the slope of the land either exactly on contour line or with a slight/small grade (0.1 to 0.2 percent). In this process, the excavated soil is kept along the lower edge of the channel in the form of a low ridge.Narrow-based terrace: It consists of making a number of narrow-based ridges or bunds at a distance of 1m to 2m across the slope of the land at appropriate intervals in high rainfall areas.Broad-based ridge terrace: It consists of making wide but low bunds on the contour lines by excavating soils from both sides of the terrace. This is practiced in areas where the rainfall is relatively lowContour trenching: It consists of the construction of a series of the deep pit (i.e. 2ft. wide and 1ft. deep) or trenches across the slope at a convenient distance. The soil excavated from the trenches is deposited on the lower fringe of the trenches where forest trees are planted3.VI. SOIL SAVING PROGRAMMESThe Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation is playing a lead role in catering to the soil and water conservation requirements of the State and serves as the information hub for scientific and reliable information on soil and land resources and formulates and implement various soil and water conservation projects by optimizing the natural resource utilization by adopting scientific land use as per land capability for making soil health. The soil and land resource inventory of each area carried out by the Department will provide necessary scientific data for adopting suitable soil and water conservation measures for each microenvironment to prevent soil erosion, to bolster the groundwater recharge and to invigorate the agricultural sector by enhancing the soil fertility status and the ultimate aim is augmentation of agricultural productivity. The creation and updating of the scientific database on soil and land resources through varied sorts of Soil Surveys and formulation and execution of developmental programmes at micro and macro level is one in all the foremost major mandate of the department.The Department of Soil Survey & Soil Conservation has been concerned with the formulation & implementation of assorted Soil and Water Conservation Programmes since first plan period. Controlling run-off to minimize silt yield from unit land and promoting in situ moisture conservation for ground water recharge are the basic propel of any soil and water conservation programme. Thrust is given for undertaking projects which result in the improvement of the micro-ecosystem in terms of ecological, meteorological, agricultural, environmental and social aspects concerned.This Organization upholds “Watershed Approach” for realizing the perspective of sustainable and holistic development. The major thrust areas in implementing various soil and water conservation programmes includeConservation of soil and water resources on a watershed basis with a view to sustain Agricultural Production and to rejuvenate the ecosystem. Promotion and propagation of eco-friendly and cost-effective conservation measures adopting watershed principles.To develop appropriate ways for rainfed farming by adopting rainwater harvesting through the participation of the folks and people’s representatives for the potential development of watersheds and promotion of farming system approach for augmenting the financial gain of farming communities.To stop Soil erosion and runoff from the watershed with a read to stop premature siltation of multipurpose reservoirs and also to reduce flood peaks and volumes of runoff.Check the silting up of natural water bodies, drainage courses, reservoirs as well as paddy fields etc.Stabilize and develop landslide/slide-prone areas.Generate rural employment on an everyday basis as a result of the soil and water conservation projects implementing throughout the state thereby enhancing the socio-economic status of the people of that locality area or neighborhood.Awareness creation among the general public on the requirement for conservation of natural resources for the future generations.Rejuvenation of contaminated and unproductive ecosystem considering all means for the holistic development of the area4.VII. FARMERS ADOPTION OF CONSERVATION AGRICULTUREIn light of growing consideration over the implications of many typical agricultural practices, and particularly the deep cultivation of soils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), among others, has begun to promote a package of soil conserving or protective practices under the banner of ‘conservation agriculture’. While the title might be novel, its allied practices have long been utilized by farmers and studied by social scientists seeking to understand the reasons for their adoption and non-adoption. This paper reviews and synthesizes this past analysis in order to identify or spot those independent variables that regularly explain adoption, and thereby facilitate policy prescriptions to augment adoption around the world. While a disaggregated analysis of a subset of commonly used variables reveals some underlying patterns of influence, once various contextual factors (e.g. study locale or method) are controlled, the primary finding of the synthesis is that there are few if any universal variables that regularly explain the adoption of conservation agriculture across past analyses. Given the limited probability of identifying such variables through further research or analysis, we come to conclude that efforts to promote conservation agriculture will have to be tailored to reflect the certain conditions of individual locales.Smallholder adoption of soil conservation technologies:Soil erosion due to smallholder agriculture in upland areas of the Philippines is widely regarded as the country’s most serious environmental problem. There have been many upland development projects involving the promotion of soil conservation and agroforestry measures. Yet adoption of such practices has been minimal. A research project was commissioned to investigate the technical and socio-economic factors limiting adoption of recommended soil conservation technologies. The project involved case studies of seven locations where conservation farming had been intensively promoted and adopted by a significant number of farmers4. The research methods involved a combination of reconnaissance or rapid rural appraisal methods followed by a questionnaire survey of a sample of farmers from each site. This paper summarizes the project’s findings regarding or concerning the farm-level factors related to the adoption of suggested soil conservation technologies within the case-study sites. Its focus is on the attributes of the farm-household influencing the adoption-decision process, and the consequences of adoption at the extent of the farm-household system2. It was found that conservation farming technologies, significantly hedgerows, were widely seen by farmers who were aware of them as useful and even necessary, but it had needed resource-intensive project intervention to induce the adoption process going, and adoption was often constrained by farmers’ specific circumstances, rather than their personal attributes and perceptions. A wider range of more profitable and less or fewer demanding conservation technologies was required, promoted more flexible and with larger, on-going support for farmers in their efforts to experiment with improved farming systems.SOIL ORGANISMS:When worms excrete egesta in the form of casts, a a balanced selection of minerals and plant nutrients is formed for root. Earthworm casts are five times richer in available phosphates and eleven times richer than the surrounding upper 150 millimeters of the soil.Other necessary soil organisms embody the mycorrhiza, nematodes, and bacteria. Degraded high yields.Lacking structure increases erosion and carries the nitrogen and other pollutants into the river5.MINERALIZATION:To allow plants full realization of their Phytonutrient potential, active mineralization of the soil is typically undertaken. This could involve adding a crushed rock or chemical soil supplements. In either case, the aim is to combat the mineral depletion. A broad range of minerals can be used, including common substances such as phosphorus and more exotic substances such as zinc and selenium. In-depth analysis examines the phase transitions of minerals in soil with aqueous contact6.CONCLUSIONAccording to the results of the research additional usage of the agriculture methods throughout the last ten years have made an improvement in the soil quality. The research shows that the degradation in the soil quality is due to the improper use of agriculture methods. The quality or standard of the soil can improve once the agriculture is practiced on a low productivity lands wherever the ecological agriculture methods are not used5.According to the study mentioned above, the Prairies region has suffered less from soil degradation than the other regions. mostly due to the decrease in fallowing however conjointly as a result of the permanent ground cover has been encouraged over certain areas. In general, the Central and Atlantic provinces of Canada have experienced the most soil degradation because of the intensive farming practiced there (especially in view of the relatively poor soils in the Maritimes); however, there has been a definite or certain increase in the percentage of organic material in the soil in some areas as a result of better crop rotation.REFERENCES1 E. B., Alexander, and J. C. McLaughlin. Soil porosity as an indication of forest andrangeland soil condition (compaction) and relative productivity. Pp. 52-61 in Proceedingsof the Soil Quality Standards Symposium. Report No. W0-WSA- 2. Washington, D.C.: U.S.Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1992.2 Abler, D. A., and J. S. Shortle, “The political economy of water quality protection fromagricultural chemicals. Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics” 19913 Adams, R. T., and F. M. Kurisu, “Simulation of Pesticide Movement on Small AgriculturalWatersheds”. Publication No. EPA-600/3- 76-066. Sunnyvale, California, 1976.3 Adriano, D. C, “Trace Elements in the Terrestrial Environment”. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986.4 Engberg, R. A., M. A. Sylvester, and H. R. Fettz. “Effects of drainage on water, sediment, and biota”. Pp. 801-807 in Proceedings of the National Conference on Irrigation andDrainage, N. F. Ritter, ed. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers, 1991.5 Forman, R. T. T., and M. Godron. “Landscape Ecology”. New York: Wiley, 1986.6 Hamlett, J. M., D. A. Miller, R. L. Day, G. W. Petersen, G. M. Baumer, and J. Russo.Statewide GIS-based ranking of watersheds for agricultural pollution prevention. Journal ofSoil and Water Conservation 47:399-404, 1992?
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