Maintaining healthy soil is critical for farmers to grow, yet soil erosion caused by natural forces like wind and water, has a negative influence on productivity. In this session of Farmer’s Inside Track, we discuss the causes of soil erosion and what farmers should know and grasp from the start.
Onele Mduzulwana, an agronomist with Daracorp NPO in Cullinan, Gauteng explains the effect of soil erosion on agriculture and what farmers can do to prevent land degradation.
Soil erosion, according to Mduzulwana, has a major and negative influence on farmers because once the nutritional layer of the soil is gone, very few plants can develop. As a result, the land becomes less productive for agriculture.
“Climate change is one of the leading causes of soil degradation in South Africa. Factors that do cause soil degradation include changes in temperature, or changes in rainfall intensity, windstorms and changes in the distribution and intensity of extreme weather events.”
She also says that when the rain changes, so do the plants along the rivers, therefore initiating degradation.
“Research still strongly suggests that 70% of South African land is affected by soil erosion. It hasn’t changed from the statistics from 2013.”
Mduzulwana emphasises that cover cropping can be used to reduce soil erosion. She advises farmers to plant trees and participate in agroforestry. “If you practice cover cropping, you slow down erosion.”
During the session, Mduzulwana discusses the following topics:
- The best methods for cutting down trees;
- The significance of crop rotation;
- The effect of native crops on reducing soil erosion; and
- Why creating dams around agricultural areas is crucial.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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