Fencing against soil erosion




Fencing technique can be also used for prevent soil from water erosion. This purpose is usually achieved by using wooden fences and, as side effect, it increases the crop yield, by encouraging water infiltration. It is important to place the wooden poles quite close to each other, or to weave the lateral branches, in order to create a sort of  barrier and try to stabilise as much soil as possible.


A good example of wooden fences as a mean to reduce soil erosion can be found in Turkey. Dry areas in semi-arid regions are often exposed to soil erosion, especially on hillslopes, due to sudden heavy rainfall. The dry croplands in the semi-arid mountainous areas of central Anatolia have been successfully fenced to control soil erosion. The fencing technique consisted of using woven wood fences made of 150 cm long wood poles inserted into the ground. The space between the posts was filled by weaving the branches of the poles. The distance between the fences depends on the gradient and soil texture. Despite the simplicity and cheapness of this intervention, field tests have demonstrated that it can double crop yield and reduce soil loss.

Consulted sources:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1991, Chritchley & Siegert, Water harvesting, http://www.fao.org/3/u3160e/u3160e00.htm. Reproduced with permission
WOCAT, 2012, Schwilch, Hessel & Verzandvoort, Desire for Greener Land, https://edepot.wur.nl/212528. Reproduced with permission.

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