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60 Ways Farmers Can Protect  Surface Water
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17. Use Contour Stripcropping and Contour Buffer Strips

filed with contour stripcropping Contour stripcropping is a system of alternating strips of meadow or small grains with strips of row crops on the contour.

This practice can reduce soil erosion by up to 75 percent when compared to planting row crops up and down the slope.

farm with strips of row crops Strips of row crops should be the same width, or nearly the same, as the strips of close-grown crops and hayland. Strip widths can vary by up to 10 percent.
Ariel View of a Field Also, to be most effective, no more than half the field should be in row crop in any one year. Keep strip widths consistent from year to year, and use field border strips to avoid planting end rows up and down hill. The field borders provide access to all strips throughout the growing season.
field with contour buffer strips Contour buffer strips are strips of sod, alternated with strips of row crops. Unlike contour stripcropping, in which all strips are roughly the same width, buffer strips are narrow, while the strips of row crops are wide.
field with buffer strips and contour stripcropping Although contour buffer strips offer less erosion-control than contour stripcropping, the principle is the same: The strips of sod slow runoff, increase the infiltration of water into the soil, and trap sediment moving from the crop strips above.
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