Description of practice

Ridge-furrow systems direct water to furrows, creating more favourable growing conditions. The ridges are sometimes covered with plastic mulch for maximum water harvesting.

Examples of how to use ridge-furrow systems Further information
(see Note below)

AMP46 01


Using a Dyker (an add-on tool for a potato planting machine) holes are dug into the bottom of the furrows between the potato ridges, generating traverse dykes for water storage.


»WOCAT technology 1304

AMP46 02

Ox-ploughed furrows

Ox-ploughed furrows are constructed to harvest water and to prepare seedbeds. The micro-catchment created extends water availability for plant growth and also enhances seed germination.


»The Borgen Project
»WOCAT technology 2895

AMP46 03

Micro-ridging for water harvesting

Small micro-basins, locally called “cajetes”, are made after ploughing to facilitate the supply of water, taking advantage of scarce rainfall, and increasing production.


AMP46 04

Photo: Luuk Fleskens

Ridges for cassava

Planting bulky root crops such as cassava in ridges facilitates root development and crop harvesting, while also serving the purpose of water harvesting.


AMP46 05

Cross-tied contour ridges

Cross-tied planting ridges are created to catch rainwater for the benefit of young perennial crops. They are suited to areas of water deficit where it is not feasible to provide a soil cover and enhance infiltration and reduce runoff.


AMP46 06

Briggs Tied Ridger

Use of the Briggs Tied Ridger, developed to prevent rain and irrigation water runoff from sloping land, gives a dramatic reduction in surface erosion, fertilizer loss and water requirement.


»Briggs Irrigation

AMP46 07

Ridge-furrow system with plastic mulch

Plastic mulch covers two ridges (planting zones) while the furrow between them serves as a rainwater harvesting zone. This ridge-furrow system facilitates supplementary irrigation and reduces weeds.



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.

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