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This is the removal of fertile top soil by water or wind.
Effects of soil erosion to the farmer:
The main agents are water and wind. Wind erosion is common in semi arid areas where there is bore ground (without vegetation) and the winds are strong.
Factors that affect water erosion.
Heavy rain even if for a short period will cause more erosion than a light shower that way go on for a long time.
The steeper the slope, the greater the speed of surface water flow therefore the more intense erosion will be.
Sandy soil particles do not stick together therefore can easily be washed away by running water. Clay particles stick together so will offer some resistance to erosion.
A bare ground without vegetation will easily be eroded. Creetiping plants, pasture, and bush fallow offer a very good ground cover and here will be no erosion. The forest canopy will also protect the ground from erosion. Crops that grow upright especially when there are widely spaced like cassava leaves.
When the farmer digs up and down a slope or carries out bush burning, overgrazing or over cultivation of land, soil erosion will easily occur. Good practices like mulching, crop rotation, planning e.t.c. will discourage soil erosion.
Types of erosion
This results from the direct impact of rain drops on bare ground. The bigger the drops, the greater the erosion will be .Drops of rain will cause soil particles scatter and will form a muddy solution that will seal off all pore spaces and prevent further infiltration of water into the soil, instead it will flow as a stream over the surface – surface water flow. This will lead to the second type of erosion sheet erosion.
Soil removal will lead to formation of small, clearly cut channels called rills that can easily be seen. Rills are usually formed where rain comes as a form and soil particles can not hold together.
They can easily be removed through cultivation.
Here wide and deep irregular tunnels are cut across the field and they carry a lot of water. Very large volumes of soils are removed form the field and will interfere with movement of man, livestock and machinery. Galleys can not be removed by simple cultivation and require mechanical method e.g. Barragos.
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