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Erosion: Fertilizer and Conservation Stewardship Program

There are three causes of soil erosion over cultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation. All of these causes can be corrected in different ways. Over cultivation is when the land is repeatedly tiling and producing crops faster than the soil can restore resulting in a decrease in the soil value and productivity.

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One of the ways that over cultivation can be corrected is by a technique called no-till agriculture. No-till agriculture is a procedure where chemicals kill weeds and the seeds are planted without having to plow the soil. Fertilizer is another source of correction in over cultivation.

Fertilizer is a process in which nutrients such as organic fertilizer and inorganic fertilizer are added to the soil to nutrient the crops. Organic fertilizers consist of manure and inorganic fertilizers consist of chemical fertilizers. Other methods are used to prevent over cultivation such as contour strip cropping and shelterbelts. Contour strip cropping is where the farmer will plow the land across rather than up and down which reduces the occurrence of water erosion. The rows of trees around the plowed land are called shelterbelts reducing the risk of wind erosion.

Overgrazing is another cause of soil erosion. Overgrazing is where there are more animals existing on a piece of land than the land can maintain. During the process of overgrazing the land losses its grass production and the land becomes bare causing wind and water erosion leaving the soil tainted. The Conservation Stewardship program provides information on how farmers can burn woody plants giving them the means to be able to plant grass seeds that hold water and to be able to manage cattle and move them to another land stopping overgrazing from occurring.

The means of removing trees and vegetation covering soil and converting the forest into another land of use causing erosion and soil productiveness is called deforestation. The best way to correct deforestation is to cut down trees and to plant more trees. There have been many organizations developed to try to stop deforestation. Some of these organizations are Center for Global Development’s, Group of Earth Observations’, and Avoided Deforestation Partners.