Description of practice
In the practice of contour ploughing the soil is ploughed along the contour, perpendicular to the direction of slope. The aim is to decrease the velocity of surface water runoff and soil erosion by concentrating water in the furrows and increasing infiltration. It is especially important at the beginning of the rainy season when there is little vegetation cover.
|Examples of how to use contour ploughing
(see Note below)
Photo: Luuk Fleskens
Conventional contour ploughing
Ploughing and all cultivation is carried out along the contour lines, reducing soil erosion.
Contour-planted trees intercropped with annual crops
Olive trees, planted in lines along the contour, are intercropped with an annual crop.
Contour strip tillage
Contour tillage is combined with strip tillage enabled through GPS tractor guidance combines residue cover and tillage along contour lines to reduce soil erosion.
Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.