How it works
How it helps
By reducing sediment and runoff, and increasing water infiltration, contouring promotes better water quality.
Are terraces or stripcropping needed for steeper slopes?
Are field borders needed to replace end rows in the contouring system to control sheet and rill erosion?
Contour key line grade should not exceed 2% except within 100 feet of an outlet. In that case, the grade can be a 3% slope.
Perform all tillage and planting operations parallel to the key contour line.
Contouring is less effective in preventing soil erosion on steeper or longer slopes.
Replace end rows with field borders to reduce erosion.
Topography may be too steep and/or irregular to contour.
Contoured rows should enter the grassed area of waterways on the level, but should direct water into the grass.
To avoid having to lay out new key contour lines every year, establish a narrow permanent strip of grass along each key contour line.
* Check local figures.