Monday, February 2, 2015

Contour plowing undertaken in Thottiyapatty watershed project: OFI/SG/SEVAI Project.



Thottiyaptty watershed area

Contour plowing helps in contour farming is the water and soil conservation and agriculture promotion of Thottiyapatty project as supported by SG/OFI. This contour plowing provides contour lines create a water break which reduces the formation of rills and gullies during times of heavy water run-off; which is a major cause of soil erosion. The water break also allows more time for the water to settle into the soil. In contour plowing, the ruts made by the plow run perpendicular rather than parallel to slopes, generally resulting in furrows that curve around the land and are level. This method is also known for preventing tillage erosion. This preventing tillage erosion is the soil movement and erosion caused by tilling a given plot of land. A similar practice is contour bunding where stones are placed around the contours of slopes.Soil erosion prevention practices such as this can drastically decrease negative effects associated with soil erosion such as reduced crop productivity, worsened water quality, lower effective check dam water levels, flooding etc. Contour farming is considered an active form of sustainable agriculture. This is one of the main procedures promoted by the Soil Conservation and water conservation techniques of a watershed. The Thottiyapatty watershed project established the water Conservation when it became apparent that soil erosion was a huge problem along with drought. The water and Soil Conservation method works in Thottiyapatty with agriculture programs such as well water irrigation and dry land farming with the help of check dams and gully plugs
Contour bunding in Thottiyapatty Water shed project
etc, the introduction of appropriate agricultural techniques such as contour plowing had reduced the loss of soil by 65% despite the continuation of the drought. Demonstrations showed that contour farming, under ideal conditions, will increase yields of row crops by up to 50%, with increases of between 5 and 10% being common. Importantly, the technique also significantly reduces soil erosion, fertilizer loss, and overall makes farming less energy and resource intensive under most circumstances. Reducing fertilizer loss not only saves
Rain fed agriculture in watershed
the farmer time and money, but it also decreases risk of harming regional freshwater systems. Soil erosion caused from heavy rain can encourage the development of rills and gullies which carry excess nutrients into freshwater systems through the process of eutrophications. Contour plowing is also promoted in Dasilnaickanoor with similar rainfall. At one end of a contour the slope of the land will always be steeper than at the other. Thus when plowing parallel runs paralleling any contour the plow furrows soon deviate from a true contour. Rain water in these furrows will thus flow sideways along the falling "contour" line. This can often concentrate water in a ways that exacerbates erosion instead of reducing it. ts simple definition is that contour plowing is a process of parallel ploughing to the contours of hill slopes to form a natural barrier for water to flow down the slope.-Govin

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