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4/3/2011 

What is conservation farming?


ƒ It is a way of farming that help farmers
achieve profits with sustained production
Unit 7 levels while conserving the environment.
Conservation ƒ Principles
Farming ƒ Minimum soil disturbance
Gandhiv Kafle
ƒ Permanent soil cover
Lecturer, IOF, Hetauda ƒ Mixing and rotating crops

WME 508: Soil and water conservation 
1  engineering ‐ by Gandhiv Kafle  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle 

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Conservation farming
techniques Shelter belts / green belts
ƒ Shelter belts/green belts } Livingwindbreaks
ƒ Hedge rows
ƒ Minimum tillage }a plantation usually made up of
ƒ Relay cropping one or more rows of trees or
ƒ Mixed cropping shrubs planted in such a manner
ƒ Multiple cropping
ƒ Strip cropping as to provide shelter from the
ƒ Cover cropping wind and to protect soil from
ƒ Mulching erosion.
ƒ Green manure
ƒ Compost manure } commonly planted around the
ƒ Use of nitrogen fixing plants edges of fields on farms.
WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 


4/3/2011 

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Vegetation pattern in
Functions of shelter belt shelterbelt
} Reduces wind speed and wind erosion }a single line of trees or multiple rows of
} Lowers evapotranspiration; Regulates air trees
temperature } Rows of shrubs can also be added
} Enhances soil moisture } placed on the windward side
} Ultimately, increase in crop yield
Windward side 

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 

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Selection of species for shelter


belt Width of shelter belt
} rapid growing, } about 9 m for a two-row tree belt with
} tolerant of wind and light associated shrubs
} frost resistant where necessary. } About 3m for single-row hedge belts.
} The branches should be pliable so that they
bend with the wind instead of breaking off.
} The root system should provide a firm
anchorage to the soil.
} Local species rather than imported species.
} Mix of species

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 


4/3/2011 

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Spacing of shelter belt Length of shelter belt


} Shelterbelt generally protects the soil from }a minimum of 12 times the belt height
wind erosion to distance about 10-12 provided that the belt is at right angles to
times its height, provided that the belt is at the wind.
right angles to the wind. } To allow for deviations in wind direction, a
} So spacing of shelterbelt = (10-12)×height longer length is desirable and a length of
of belt 24H is generally recommended (Bates
1924).

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 

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Hedgerow on sloping land Functions of hedge rows


} Planting of trees, shrubs or } Reduces runoff velocity
grasses (preferably nitrogen
} Reinforces the slope, forms bio-terraces
fixing) closely in paired rows
along the contour } Catches the soil materials and creates

} Alleys between the paired effective barrier to soil erosion


hedges is used for growing } Conserves soil moisture
food or cash crops.
} Epil epil, kimbu, tanki
} Napier, femingia, molasses

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle 


4/3/2011 

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Species selection for


Design hedgerows
} Plantspacing within rows: less than 20cm } Compatible with agricultural crops
} Rows spacing: 30-60cm } Suitable to local site conditions
} Width of alleys: 4-6m (varies with slope } Fast growing, deep rooted
steepness) } Nitrogen fixing
} Resistant to regular trimming
} Less shading effects to agricultural crops

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 

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Minimum tillage Functions of minimum tillage


} Low level of tillage with minimum } Less disturbance to soil, thus reduces soil
disturbance to soil erosion
} Preparation of soil to create better } Increases organic matter in the soil (mulch
environment for germination and root tillage)
development of the crop with reduction
in tillage } Maintains soil temperature and moisture

} Land is partly ploughed and prepared for } Reduce cost for tillage
the seedbed rather than ploughing the
entire plot.
WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 


4/3/2011 

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Mulching Functions of mulching


} Covering soil surface temporarily with } Reduces evaporation thus conserves soil
moisture
plant residues } Protects soil from raindrop erosion, heat, frost
} To maintain soil moisture and create and wind
favorable environment for plant growth } Armors soil temporarily
} Plastic film materials increase soil temperature
(av. 3 degrees)
} Controls weeds
} Increases organic matter, microbial activity
} Good for seed germination

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 

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Cover crops Functions of cover crops


} Landsurface is densely covered with } Protects surface from raindrops erosion by
providing ground cover
permanent grasses or leguminous plat } Armors and reinforces the slope
species to reduce erosion and improve } Reduces the runoff velocity
degraded soils } Catches soil materials or debris
} Improves soil fertility (OM, physical, chemical
and biological activities) are improved.
} Forage/grass available fro the livestock
} Improves soil moisture
} Suppresses weeds
WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle 


4/3/2011 

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Species for cover crops Design of cover cropping


} Stylo } Plant to plant space = 30cm
} Dubo } Row to row space = 20cm
} Napier } 2-3 tillers of grasses per planting for
} Babiyo successful establishment
} Clover

WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐  WME 508: Soil and water conservation engineering ‐ 
by Gandhiv Kafle  by Gandhiv Kafle