ECM for Cropped Environments - Contour Cropping

Contour cropping:

This management practice reduces risk of erosion by tilling and planting across (i.e., following the curvature of the land), rather than up and down, the hill as shown in the diagram below of strawberries planted on contour in California. Planting done along the contour reduces water erosion by enhancing water infiltration. Water infiltration is enhanced because the contour planting is perpendicular to the slope, slowing water velocity, and allowing more of the water to soak into the ground. If the contour is perpendicular to the prevailing wind, wind erosion is also reduced.

Hillside contour strawberry farming in Monterey County, CA. Photo by USDA-NRCS