Erosion Control

Erosion is a process of loss of soil layer, either caused by movement of water or wind. Erosion is the event of moving or transporting soil or parts of the soil from one place to another by natural media. In the event of erosion, soil or parts of the soil from an eroded and transported site which is then deposited elsewhere. Transportation or removal of the land occurs by natural media, among others, water or wind. Erosion by wind is caused by wind force, while erosion by water is caused by water strength.

In general, the damage caused by soil erosion is the decrease of soil fertility and the emergence of siltation due to the sedimentation process. Fertile soil is commonly found on top soil layer, while sub soil can be considered less fertile. If there is rain and can cause erosion, then the topsoil will be eroded and then carried away by the water flow. With the transport of topsoil, then the underlain layers are less fertile. Then if the land is planted, then the plant will not be able to grow and the results will be reduced. With reduced yields will reduce farmers’ income.

Erosion Control Methods

Efforts to control erosion can basically be grouped into 3 methods, namely:

The Vegetative Method

This method uses plants or plants and their remains to reduce the damage of falling rain, the amount and damage to the surface flow. The function of plants in this method is to: a) protect the soil from destructive power of rain granules, b) protect the soil from the surface stream, and c) improve the capacity of soil infiltration and water containment that will affect the amount of surface flow. Included in this vegetative method include; Seasonal crop cultivation (maize, peanut, etc.) on a seasonal or permanent basis, planting in strip cropping, crop rotation, agro forestry system, utilization of crop residue.

Mechanical Method

The mechanical methods are all mechanical physical treatments given to the soil and construction of buildings to reduce surface flow and erosion, as well as improve the ability of land use as for example you can see in The mechanical methods of erosion control function: a) slowing the flow of the surface, b) collecting and distributing surface flows with non-destructive force, c) repairing or enlarging water infiltration into the soil and improving soil aeration, and d) providing water for plants. Included in the mechanical methods are tillage, contour cultivation, contour cultivation, and contoured cultivation, terraces (terrace benches, sloped terraces), check dams, reservoirs, dikes, and drainage improvements.

Chemical Methods

Chemical methods in erosion control using synthetic or natural chemical preparations. This method is often known as soil conditioner, which aims to improve soil structure.

Often erosion control is done by combining two erosion control methods or even the above three methods are used simultaneously in the effort to control erosion.

Each soil erosion control effort has different economic benefits, and has different capabilities in suppressing the rate of erosion. In addition to the kinds of plants, management systems and control methods used have an effect on the rate of erosion.

From this fact, it can be arranged various alternative election of soil erosion control effort based on profit and risk of erosion that may occur. Furthermore, resource managers (eg farmers) can be directed to be willing to choose plants and erosion control methods that can provide a high enough profit and the risk of erosion as low as possible.