Soil Landscape Restoration

The most widely promoted and adopted practice to improve soil conditions on eroded landscapes is conservation tillage, in particular, no-till and zero-till. Although conservation tillage can greatly reduce soil erosion and may even arrest it, it can take many years to restore the quality of the soil to its noneroded state. A more radical approach to managing soil quality is the restoration of soil landscapes by soil movement. Soil-landscape restoration can be thought of as simply putting the productive soil back where it came from. In this practice, soil is moved from areas within a field where it has accumulated through erosion to areas where it has been lost through erosion.

Where tillage erosion is the major erosion process, the majority of the eroded soil is locally available in concave lower slopes and remains highly productive. Wind- and water-eroded soil that accumulates within the landscape is sediment which is less productive than the original soil. Through soil-landscape restoration, it is possible to achieve a more natural distribution of productive soil within the landscape.

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