Contour trenching

hi could you please tell me about “Contour trenching”?
Is it good for controlling landslide only  or for both controlling landslide and moisture conservation or neither of these?
please help

Contour Trenching is ancient technique. The history takes you back to Inca civilization. It helps in controling surface run-off. Thus you can controll loss of humus.
Secondly water travels slowly and increases percolation rate. Thus you can increase ground water table.

Resp raju_ayer sir, Contour Trenching is a very good and deep subject. It not only controls the land slide, but also it increases the ground water column, moisture percent in the soil, not allows the top rich soil to be eroded, reduces the speed of the rain water and forces it to go into the earth gaps and there by makes the water columns raised.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As of today, it should be like a mandatory to force to have contour trenches in agricultural lands by one all, villages together and taluks,dists and states lands even. There are already several taluks and dists, who have experienced the fruit of success with contour trenching and the water levels are abnormally raised considerably, by encouraging other areas farmers also to start contour trenching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Govt surveys reveals that around 20 to 30 tonnes of top soil per acre ,per year , is saved eroding, with the contour trenching. Apart from the above, contour trenching can control treepassing of certain insecticides/animals also , successfully.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a senior farmer, i advise our farming community,to provide contour trenches,in their  uneven lands to restore the old and good ground water levels, put full stop to rich top soil erosion, and there by to have successful crops and good enviroment                                                                                                                                                                g.p.rao,farmer

Dear Raju,

All good points mentioned above, also read this success story … ponds-baif

Few thoughts

  1. Divert water to channel/s perpendicular to normal flow
  2. Have inverted trapezium pits along the perpendicular channel. Place stones on the slopes to arrest soil run off
  3. Stack the excavated soil as a mound around the pit and plant vegetables on them to avoid loss of surface area (explained in the article)


So it means “Contour trenching” is good for both controlling landslide as well as soil moisture conservation. Not only for controlling landslide, right?

No. There is slight misunderstanding here. Contour trenching dont allow water to flow rapidly. it stores the water in localised sections. So stored water perolates and makes your ground water rich.
It will not preserve moisture. What I mean is, it will not prevent evoporation of water content from soil. to prevent evoporation u must mulch the soil with biomass or live cover crops.

If you take pictures of your land and post here, you may get acurate answers.

but Mr. G.P.Rao in his post said that it could increase moisture content

Sri.G.P.Rao said moisture means ground water. It is not that top soil is wet thrughout the year. if mulch, the dry matter attracts the moisture from ground water table by capillary force.

Summary: Even if have prepare trenching you must mulch the soil to retain moisture.

So “Contour trenching” helps in controlling landslide only…am I right now?

Check this inspiring story : … ware-bazar

Dear Raju_ayer, I have mentioned that the ground water levels will be increased with contour trenches and stated that moisture will be increased in the soil ,but not mentioned in the top layer. My intention is inner layers of the soil but not the top layer of the soil. For moisture in the top layer of the soil, we have to provide mulching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dear raju sir,the contour trenching will increase the ground water levels,erosion of the rich top soil as it reduces the speed of the rain water flow, misture percent in the inner layers which will be very beneficial to the deep root plants. The above will be fruitful if most of the farmers follow contour trenching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Still if you think that contour trenching helps land sliding only,i am nothing to say further.                                                                                                                                                          Any how I am sorry for not mentioning" inner layers of the soil ".  g.p.rao,farmer.

Land slide is different from soil erosion.

Land slides can be prevented from growing trees whose roots hold the soil together, especially on hilly slopes.

Soil erosion can be prevented by mulching ( to reduce impact of rain drops), no tilling, canopy trees, and contour trenching to slow the flow of water. Contour trenches also help prevent water runoff and recharge ground water.

Hi all
Do you know of people who can enable contour trenching on farms? I have a farm in lonavala and would like to implement CTrenching here

A Progressive farmer Called Subhash Sharma from Yavatmal.(094228 69620) has done this. He has developed simple insturments to prepare contour bunds. See pictures below