What you should know about soil erosion and how to avoid it.

A natural forest that has never been disturbed by cutting down of trees, ploughing of land, burning or killing of animals and insects is said to be in balance. However, this natural balance does not apply to most land under cultivation, because many agricultural practices disturb the balance in nature.

Too often this result in loss of soil through erosion and cause the reduction of soil fertility. With good farming practices much can be done to restore the soil fertility.

Soil conservation includes all the agricultural practices that are employed in order to maintain or improve the soil. It is also necessary as farmers to learn about some soil and crop management practices that lead to soil infertility in order to avoid them from the extension workers through our groups.

Top soil is the first layer of the soil and dark in color because it contains humus and humus consists of materials from dead animal’s and plants that are partly decayed. The more humus in the top soil the more fertile the soil is. This is because humus gives the soil a good structure for air and water to penetrate. Top soil contains many nutrients that plants need and is often 20 – 30 cm deep.

Soil erosion is when the soil is moved away by either wind or water and every year tons of good top soil are washed away from the fields and is by wind or rain. Washing away of top soil usually happens where the soil is bare and is worse on slopes and hill sides taking away all the humus necessary for our crops.

It is necessary to prevent our soil from being washed away by erosion in order to retain the fertility of our land. A fertile soil will always give good result to the crops grown on it. If the soil is infertile, the reverse is true

To avoid all this make contour across the sloping fields. If the ploughing or digging is done across the contours even on slightly sloping fields it can lead to severe erosion.

Sloping areas without contours bounds or terraces will lead to severe erosion.

Cutting down trees or lack of wind breakers will lead to soil erosion especially if the field is tilled and lies bare. Plant a tree whenever you cut one to replace the cut one.

Mulopi Joseph, CELAC Mayuge

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