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Effective ways to conserve soil

Young plant in the morning

Soil erosion is a problem that plagues many ranchers and farmers in South Texas. This phenomenon is usually caused by wind, rain, and major rivers that erode and weather the land. If left unchecked, this can cause serious problems like the removal of nutrients from the soil, yield reduction, and the degradation of water quality.

The good news is that there are ways for ranchers and farmers to prevent this and conserve soil before erosion becomes a costly issue.

Here are some of the most effective ways to conserve soil:

Try contour farming

Contour farming is a great way to reduce top-level soil erosion, decrease runoff, and lessen the risk of water erosion. This technique requires you to plant crops based on the natural slopes and lines of the landscape instead of the traditional straight vertical rows. It works because it creates pathways for water to flow more slowly. This also allows the collection of rainwater.

Plant cover crops

Cover crops such as legumes and annual forage grasses can be used to enrich the soil when planted between rows or in an empty field. These cover crops protect the topsoil from severe weather conditions, pests, and diseases. It also nourishes the soil with a variety of macronutrients and micronutrients. This particular technique has also been known to increase yields.

Create buffer zones or windbreaks

Buffer zones are strips of vegetation planted between fields and bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and streams. This technique ensures that the soil stays in place. It not only helps keep the soil out of the water source but also acts as a filter for water coming from the field that flows to the waterways.

While buffer zones protect soil from water, windbreaks are used to slow down and limit soil erosion from strong winds. These windbreaks are barriers made from trees, high shrubs, and the like. They are planted in multiple rows adjacent to the crop field. Apart from protecting the land and planted crops from strong winds, windbreaks also add a layer of security and strengthen the soil on your property’s borders.

Practice no-till farming

Tilling is done when the soil is plowed to prepare for planting crops. It is widely known to be beneficial for mixing fertilizers with the soil and for making rows for sowing. However, this process loosens the soil, making it easy for rain or wind to damage it.

Practicing no-till farming protects the soil from erosion by preserving the soil’s structure so it can hold its own against natural forces. It also lets the crops decompose in the soil and keep the moisture and nutrients in. This soil prevention method is also very cost-effective.

Do crop rotations

Crop rotation means planting different crops in the same field at different times of the year. Changing crops regularly keeps the land fertile and helps the soil to stay healthy. This also prevents the overgrowth of disease and weeds in an otherwise unattended field. Rotate your crops like plants that add nutrients to the soil (e.g., legumes) and high-residue crops (e.g., corn, hay, and small grain).

To learn more about ranch properties in South Texas and great real estate opportunities, get in touch with our local specialists at Desert Flower Realty today! Don’t hesitate to call us at 361-449-2051 or send a message to DesertFlowerRealty(at)DesertFlowerRealty(dotted)com.