Using a vegetation cover helps prevent erosion in areas with steep slopes, or during extreme weather conditions like heat waves or excessive rainfall. Crop rotations are important for not overtaxing soil where intensive cultivation takes place. Overgrazing of livestock can be another threat to the health of soil. Farmers carefully manage this.
In addition to the above, some farmers practicing slash-and-burn agriculture (also known as “swidden” agriculture) leave some areas unused, or “fallow”, for several years in order for the soils to be replenished with nutrients.
Crop rotation is one of many ways to keep the soil from becoming exhausted. Making sure that a balanced amount of water (not too much or too little) is applied to the soil can help control salination. Composting is also a great, inexpensive way to return nutrients to the soil, since continually farming in one area sucks up the minerals and vitamins to produce fruit and vegetables. Plots of land that are left for a year or two and covered in compost will regain more nutrients than land used every year.
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