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the progressive degradation of grassland and other productive lands into unproductive desert

Weathering process

a biological, chemical, or physical process that helps form soil from rock; rock is gradually broken down into smaller and smaller particles


the process by which dissolved materials (nutrients or contaminants) are washed away or filtered down through the various layers of the soil


the deposition of leached material in the lower layers of soil

Soil horizons

the horizontal layers into which many soils are organized, from the surface to the underlying parent material

Soil profile

a vertical section from surface to parent material, showing the soil horizons


a mutualistic association between a fungus and the roots of a plant. Enables plants to absorb adequate amounts of essential minerals from the soil


the smallest inorganic soil particles


inorganic soil particles that are larger than clay or silt


the black or dark brown organic material that remains after much decomposition has occurred

Agro forestry

agricultural and forestry techniques in which trees and crops are planted together to improve soil fertility in degraded soils

Conservation tillage

a method of cultivation in which residues from previous crops are left in the soil, partially covering it and helping to hold it in place until the newly planted seeds are established


a method of conservation tillage that leaves both the surface and subsurface undisturbed. Special machines punch holes in the sol for seeds

Crop rotation

the planting of a series of different crops in the same field over a period of years

Contour plowing

plowing that matches the natural figure of the land


a soil conservation method that involves building dikes on hilly terrain to produce level, terraced areas for agriculture


a natural soil and humus mixture that improves soil fertility and soil structure

Shelter belts

a row of trees planted as a windbreak to reduce soil erosion of agricultural land

Soil conservation act

authorized the formation of the formation of a service whos mission is to work with US citizens to conserve natural resources on private lands

Food security act (85)

contained provisions for two main soil conservation programs, a conservation compliance program and the Conservation Reserve Program

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