Contour Farming

A farm tractor working across the contour of a field.

Practice Code: 330
Reporting Unit: Acre (Ac.)

Contour farming is the practice of farming with row patterns that run nearly level across the land, not up and down.

Purposes and Benefits

  • Contour farming reduces soil erosion
  • Improves water quality by reducing sedimentation and runoff
  • Improves plant productivity by increasing the amount of water stored in the soil

Web graphic: Raindrop and soilPhoto Gallery

Conservation Practice Support Documents

Support Documents for this conservation practice are available for download from an abbreviated version of Section IV of the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG).

Web link image: Field Office Technical GuideAll support documents associated with this and other conservation practices are available at the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Web site.


Related Conservation Practices

This practice is commonly used in a Conservation Management System with practices such as:

Click to locate
your local NRCS office
NRCS New York Office Locator

Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
Contour Buffer Strips (332)
Stripcropping (585)

If you want to learn how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forestland, please contact your local NRCS office.

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