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  Strip Cropping

Strip cropping is essentially another form of rotation.


The importance of strip cropping in controlling run-off erosion and thereby maintaining fertility of the soil is now universally recognized. Strip cropping in effect employs several good farming practices, including crop rotation, contour cultivation, proper tillage, stubble mulching, cover-cropping, etc. Forms of strip cropping are:

  • Contour strip cropping
  • Wind strip cropping
  • Permanent or temporary buffer strip cropping

    Contour Strip Cropping Contour strip cropping is the growing of a soil-exposing and erosion-permitting crop in strips of suitable widths across the slopes on contour, alternating with strip of soil-protecting and erosion-resisting crop. Contour strip cropping shortens the length of the slope, checks the movement of run-off water, helps to de-silt it and increases the absorption of rainwater by the soil. Further, the dense foliage of the erosion resistant crop prevents the rain from beating the soil surface directly. It is advisable to rotate the strip planting by showing a non-resistant crop, following an erosion-resistant crop and vice versa. i. Groundnut, moth bean and horse gram are the most efficient and suitable crop for checking erosion. ii. The normal seed-rates of leguminous crop, other than groundnut do not give sufficiently dense canopies to prevent rain drops from beating the soil surface in such cases. The seed rate should be treble. iii. The most effective width of the contour strips for cereals, such as jowar and bajra is 21.6m and for the intervening legume 7.2m.

    Wind Strip Cropping It consists of planting tall-growing crops such as jowar, bajra or maize, and low-growing crop in alternately arranged straight and long, but relatively narrow, parallel strips laid out right across the direction of the prevailing wind regardless of the contour.

    Permanent or Temporary Buffer Strip Cropping In the case of permanent or temporary buffer strip cropping, the strips are established to take care of critical, i.e. steep or highly eroded, slopes in fields under contour strip cropping. These strips do not form part of the rotation practised in normal strip cropping, and they are generally planted with perennial legumes, grasses or shrubs on a permanent or temporary basis
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