Strategies and Ways of Soil Conservation

The second strategy involves the replanting of native vegetation. Native vegetation has several benefits to the environment and to the human population. Restoring vegetation on formerly cleared land is a great way to conserve the soil, as well as the native wildlife and water supplies. Reforestation or planting of shrubs or grass depending on the type of natural vegetation can be conducted using introduced species or native species adapted to a particular area’s conditions, featuring some suitable characteristic such as the capacity to fix nitrogen, fast growth rate, and wood or forage value, and which will promote the restoration of a protective vegetation cover.

Effective control of water-driven soil erosion involves reducing the velocity of running water and the effect of raindrops on the surface of the soil. This practice involves improving soil structure, boosting surface storage and infiltrability, using a cover crop or organic residue mulch to protect the topsoil from being directly struck by raindrops, preventing extreme soil pulverization and compaction, and reducing cultivation and carrying it out on the contour instead of up and down the slope. One of the traditional soil conservation practices that are still used in modern time is shaping sloping land with contour strips or terraces to decrease the slope segment length and surface inclination thereby controlling the acceleration of running water downhill.

Control of wind-driven erosion can be accomplished using shelterbelts, which consists of parallel rows of shrubs or trees planted in a perpendicular direction to that of the prevailing wind. There are other measures that can be used to control wind-driven erosion. For instance, the use of a mulch or a protective vegetation cover on the surface of the soil to protect it from the direct effect of the wind. Another measure that can be used to reduce wind-driven erosion is ensuring that the topsoil is in a cloudy state instead of an extremely pulverized or dusty state. Other useful methods include light irrigation, boosting soil aggregation through the enrichment of organic matter, and preserving the topsoil in a moist state.

Soil Conservation Policies and Regulations

The adoption of soil conservation practices by farmers is not always an easy endeavor. Surveys conducted show that farmers are less effectively motivated by conservation ethic to adopt soil conservation measures than by economic benefits. However, the surveys also reveal that when farmers are more knowledgeable of soil degradation and erosion, they are more likely to embrace soil conservation practices than when they are not. This implies that accessible information and education on soil conservation are crucial aspects of any effort of soil conservation. It is also essential to have policies and regulations that sustain or conserve the land.

When private and societal incentives are different, the influence of government regulations and policies can have a significant impact on natural resources management. Twenty-five percent of arable land in the United States is regulated through the use of the resulting benefits of soil conservation. In the United States, conservation tillage was integrated into the Food Security Act of 1985, which encouraged farmers to take measures to control soil erosion by offering them agricultural subsidy payments…