Sample Essay on Effects of Soil Erosion on Agriculture
There are several effects of soil erosion on agriculture. Soil erosion refers to a gradual process by which the top layer of the soil is carried away by ice, water or wind. Top soil is vital for agriculture because it comprises of the nutrients and water that are important for the growth of plants.
When soil erosion occurs, it carries away the top layer of the soil that is rich in these nutrients. This results in degradation of the soil. Today, there are many parts of the world where farmers cannot practice effective farming because soil has been degraded by soil erosion.
Soil erosion is a serious problem in many places where the land cannot be cultivated and therefore has been abandoned. This has resulted in a reduction in agricultural activities as well as the overall output from agriculture. Agricultural land is a vital factor of production and when soil erosion destroys land hindering agricultural production it affects the entire economy of a country.
Soil erosion also affects livestock keeping. In some places, farmers graze their animals in the open field pastures. When soil erosion occurs, chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers among others may be deposited in the grazing pastures.
The chemicals are poisonous to the livestock and when the livestock feed on them they are likely to die. In addition, the eroded soil with these chemicals can be deposited in the dams or other water bodies where a farmer might be rearing fish.
The sediment deposited on the water bodies through erosion can float on the surface of the water. This hinders proper oxygen circulation which combined with the chemicals in the sediment can kill the fish. When livestock drink water from the water bodies where the eroded soil is deposited, they might also die because of the chemicals in it.
In the higher grounds where crop cultivation takes place, soil erosion leads to the loss of small or newly planted plants. Some crops are weak and therefore unable to resist the force of running water or wind. As such, they are carried away with the top soil by the running water.
In addition, more agricultural inputs are required where soil erosion takes place. This is because when the planted crops are uprooted by soil erosion, farmers have to buy new seeds. They also have to purchase fertilizers and chemicals such as pesticides for the crops that they plant afresh to grow.
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