Terrace farming is an efficient and often the only solution for hilly farmlands. Yet, its advantages are multifold. The importance of terrace farming goes far beyond cultivating lands that are not suitable for agriculture otherwise. Furthermore, terrace farming prevents soil erosion and contributes to soil conservation. Nowadays, the method allows growing versatile crops, and its management is more comfortable with online agricultural software.
What Is Terrace Farming?
Terracing is an agricultural practice that suggests rearranging farmlands or turning hills into farmlands by constructing specific ridged platforms. These platforms are called terraces.
The essential (and distinguishing) feature of terracing agriculture is excavating and moving topsoil to form farmed areas and ridges. The trick is that water flows down to lower platforms when the upper ones are full. Thus, the amount of water is distributed more or less evenly, not just at the foot of the hill.
Most Common Types Of Terraces
Farmed areas in agricultural terracing are either level or tilted, depending on the soil infiltration properties. If soil infiltration is sufficient, they are made level. Typically, outlets are not required, too.
The most popular terracing types in farming are broad-base, narrow-base, and grassed back-slope. Their choice depends on how steep the hill is. Correspondingly, not all the types imply farming of all terrace slopes.
The farming technique is suitable for the gentlest hills, and terrace cultivation embraces all the slopes. For this reason, they should suit machinery needs, and the terrace spacing is typically equal to the number of machinery swaths. Crossing the ridges is prohibited – the equipment is supposed to move between the terraces through designated passages. Broad-base terracing is applicable on slopes up to 8%.
The farming type is an example of perennial terracing. As the name suggests, the back slope cover is a perennial grass. In the given terrace farming technique, the back slope is not cultivated, unlike the main part. Typically, the main part includes the soil taken from the downhill upwards, with further leveling for farming.