Mechanical Methods

Table 4.8 summarizes the main mechanical practices used for soil, water, and crop management, normally in conjunction with agronomic measures. These practices can be subdivided into the following mechanical methods:

• stabilizing structures.

Table 4.8. Mechanical methods for soil, water, and crop management

Main Objective

Function

Measure

Soil management

Water management

Crop management

To modify soil slope To slowly reduce soil slope To contain erosion with low inputs To contain erosion with minimal earthmoving on steep slopes

To multiply effective rainfall To catch and hold all runoff To absorb some runoff with emergency overflow To control unavoidable runoff To control reduced runoff

To reduce the velocity of runoff and promote infiltration

To provide level areas on steep slopes, or to ease cultivation according to whether by hand, ox, or machine

To ease harvesting according to whether the crop is heavy damageable, harvested regularly or seasonally

Drainage for crops that suffer from wet feet

Bench terraces Progressive terracing Ladder terraces, Trash lines Step terraces, Hillside ditches, Intermittent terraces

Conservation bench terraces

Absorption ridges

Contour furrows,

Contour bound

Graded channel terraces

Ridging,

Tied ridging

Strip cropping,

Grass strips,

Permeable barriers

Step terraces, Hillside ditches, Orchard terraces, Platforms

Footpaths and farm tracks associated with orchard terraces or hillside ditches

Ridges on 2% grade, Up- and downslope beds, Small open drains up to 15%

The reader is referred to the literature [2-1Q] for more detailed information on design, construction, and maintenance criteria.

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