Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Degradation of Soil and Conservation Measures

Soil erosion and depletion are the major threats to soil as a resource. Both human and natural factors can lead to degradation of soils.

Some factors that lead to soil degradation are …

  • Deforestation.
  • Overgrazing
  • Overuse of Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides.
  • Rain.
  • Landslides.
  • Floods.
  • Soils need to be protected and conserved.

    Soil conservation is the protection of soil from chemical as well as physical deterioration. It is truer in case of India, as most people in India depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Hence the conservation and better use of soil is extremely important.

    Some of the methods used across the world to conserve soil and to take optimum benefit are:

  • Mulching.
  • Contour Barriers.
  • Rock Dam.
  • Terrace Farming.
  • Intercropping.
  • Crop Rotation.
  • Contour Ploughing.
  • Shelter Belts.
  • Afforestation.
  • Prevention of Overgrazing

    Conservation of Soil


    Let us look at these methods in detail.

  • Mulching: The bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw. This helps to retain soil moisture.
  • Contour Barriers: Stones, grass, soil are used to build barriers along contours. Trenches are made in front of the barriers to collect water.
  • Rock Dam: Rocks are piled up to slow down the flow of water. This prevents gullies and further soil loss.
  • Terrace Farming: This is a process in which hill slopes are used as cultivable land. The farmer cuts terraces into slopes to create flat areas to grow crops because flat land is scarce in hilly regions.
  • Intercropping: Different crops are grown in alternate rows and are sown at different times to protect the soil from rain wash.
  • Crop Rotation: This is a cropping practice in which different crops are grown in systematic succession. Crop rotation involves growing of such crops in succession so as to add nutrients to the soil. It also helps in pest control.
  • Contour Ploughing: This is a cropping method in which the farmer ploughs the land along a slope rather than up and down the slope. It reduces erosion.
  • Shelter Belts: In the coastal and dry regions, rows of trees are planted to check the wind movement to protect soil cover.
  • Afforestation: Another very effective method to conserve soil. It means, planting of trees on a large scale. Large number of trees reduces wind speed and free flow of water. Thus, this method stops soil from being carried away and helps in conserving the soil to a great extent. 
  • Prevention of Overgrazing: Animals like sheep and goats must be checked. Fodder should be raised as a crop. The free movement of the animals in the fields should be avoided.
  • Soil erosion and loss of its fertility is a serious problem in developing countries. The measures for soil conservation should be planned on scientific lines and implemented with the active participation of the farmers.


    Test Your Skills Now!
    Take a Quiz now
    Reviewer Name