Erosion Control Farming Techniques

Erosion is one of the major challenges facing agricultural production of a nation. Like flooding, it leads to loss of farm crops. It also leads to reduction in farm areas. Urbanization is claiming farmlands in one hand, gully erosion is claiming farmlands on the other hand, leaving farmers with little farmlands for agricultural production.

There are many erosion control farming methods but we are going to discuss the 9 major techniques


Planting of cover crops

Cover crops helps to protect the first lay of the soil from by washed up by rainwater

Planting of cover crops is most applicable on tree crops plantations

Contour farming

Contour farming is a method of farming that involves ploughing, seeding, cultivating and harvesting across the slope on sloppy land. Cropping usually follow the contour lines, instead of following the slop. This technique works well on gentle slop not on gully erosion. Contour ploughing builds barriers against rainwater runoffs. Clods and small gallops are dug perpendicular to the slope to hedge soil run offs . The erosion control practices known as P factor will be 0.5 on slopes 

Continuous Farming

Continuous farming helps in controlling erosion on a farm. When a farm is cultivated  every now and then, there will be little impact of erosion on the land as the farmer will take measures to checkmate erosion unlike when the land is left to lie fallow for some years in shifting cultivation. Therefore, shifting cultivation is not good for areas prone to erosion

Strip Cropping

Is involves panting crops on  contour strip to  control erosion. Contour strip. For Strip cropping to be effective, it should be practiced with rotational cropping should be combined so that strips planted in one season when a particular crop is will be enrich the soil for another crop, the next season.

Shelf belts

This is the use of trees known as tree belts as wind breaker on a farm. In areas where wind erosion is much prevent, especially the northern hemisphere, it is advisable to trees against the strong force of winds that can blow off the loose topsoil. Wind erosion can be referred to as blowing away of topsoil. This kind of erosion affects shallow rooted crops like maize, groundnut, rice, barley, tomatoes and other grain and vegetable crops. To control wind erosion using shelter belts, locate the North which is the source of wind that blows towards the South. Plant trees on a straight line transversal to the northern pole. These trees can be fruit trees that can be harvested.


Terracing is a farming method where earth banks are build across the slope in a way to control and reduce erosion. The chambers collect soils from runoff, and pushes the soil down the slope when the water flow pressure has greatly subsided.

Gully Reclamation

Gullies lead to wastelands, if not controlled. Gully reclamation farming technique be used to control the rapidly eroding soil.  This can be done in three ways: 

1. Planting of shallow rooted and quick to harvest crops especially grains and vegetables to stop the erosion, when the rain has not fully established, the gully still minor, the gradient and length of the gully is not much . 

2. In severe cases, small check dams of manure and straw are build so that silt will collect at the back of the dams to gradually fill the gully.

3. In some cases concrete dams are constructed at intervals up or down the gully to restrain water runoff, the soil stabilized and gradually build up.

Non-tillage Farming

No-tillage farming is a farm practice that involves growing of crops and pastures without disturbing the soil or with little disturbance and interference with the soil through the plowing. The major aims of no-tillage agricultural practice are to increase and maintain the amount t of water, moisture in the farm soil and retain, recycle the soil nutrients available both on the surface and underneath.

Related article: Solutions to Rubber Farming Problems in Nigeria


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