Evaluation of Soil Conservation Structures in Sloppy Lands of Sohawa Area for Soil Moisture and Fertility Conservation
Keywords:Moisture conservation, On-farm water control structures, Rain-water harvesting, Soil erosion, Moisture content
AbstractPothohar region of the Punjab, Pakistan is rain-fed with undulating topography. Soils of the area are predominantly loose with low water retention capacity and are vulnerable to erosion. Erratic and high intensity rainfall causes land erosion in the area producing gullies and gorges. Therefore, agriculture in the area faces twin menace of soil erosion and moisture stress. On-farm water control structures are among the important measures to control soil erosion and conserve moisture to enhance agriculture productivity. Present study was designed to evaluate the impact of these structures on soil moisture conservation and physio-chemical characteristics of soil in wheat growing fields. Wheat was sown in the fields, with and without structures during 2009 to 2013. It has been found that construction cost of such structures is about one-fourth that of conventionally used structures in the area whereas reduction in soil erosion has been observed up to 10% with 21% soil moisture conservation as compared to control. Soil fertility level improved significantly as a result of reduced run off and nutrient loss. A substantial improvement in wheat yield up to 15% due to increased fertility and moisture content was also recorded. These structures facilitated a safe disposal of surplus rain water which minimized the gully development, improved the soil structure, checked fertility loss and improved soil moisture retention.
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