This can be defined as the process of managing the soil in such a way that its moisture and fertility are maintained.

             Importance Of Soil Conservation

  1. It reduces the evaporation of surface water.
  2. It maintains the fertility of the soil.
  3. It reduces rub-off.
  4. It helps to prevent the destruction of soil structure and composition.
  5. It increases the activities of soil microbes .
  6. It reduces soil fertility.
  7. It prevents bleaching.

            Ways Of Conserving The Soil

  1. Practicing crop rotation.
  2. Application of organic manure.
  3. Application of inorganic manure.
  4. Bush fallowing.
  5. Planting of cover crops.
  6. Liming.
  7. Mulching.
  8. Avoidance of over grazing.
  9. Practicing of strip cropping.
  10. Making of ridges across the slope.
  11. Avoidance of bush burning.
  12. Terracing.

Mulching: This is the covering of the top soil with plant materials such as straw, leaves, saw dust etc.

              Importance of Mulching

  • It helps to add organic matter to the soil.
  • It helps to prevent rapid evaporation of soil moisture.
  • It helps to check weed growth.
  • Promotes microbial activities in the soil.
  • It helps to moderate or regulate soil temperature.
  • It helps protect seed from dying or rot when planted.

Avoidance of Overgrazing: Overgrazing is the process of allowing grazing animals to eat up the vegetative parts of forage crops, thereby exposing the soil to wind and water erosion. Overgrazing can be avoided by;

  • Practicing rotational grazing.
  • Maintenance of adequate stocking rate.

Strip Cropping: This is the process of planting strip of grasses between strips of crops e.g maize on a sloppy field. The strips of grasses help to reduce erosion and run-off.

Terracing: in a sloppy land, terraces are built like the steps of a house.crops are planted on the surface. This helps to reduce soil erosion.

Ridging Across the Slope: This helps to reduce erosion and conserve water and nutrients.

Avoidance of Bush Burning: Bush burning should be discouraged because;

  • It exposes soil to wind and water erosion.
  • It destroys soil microbes that helpps to break down soil organic matter to form humus which is the major source of plant nutrient.

Human Activities That Contribute To Loss Soil Nutrients

  1. Bush burning
  2. Harvesting crops of crops.
  3. Building of farm structures.
  4. Construction of roads and bridges.

Revision Questions

  1. List five importance of soil conservation.
  2. Explain any five methods of conserving the soil.
  3. Define soil conservation.