Farmland Conservation

The issue of protecting natural resources in agriculture has long been a concern for many American farmers. Farmland conservation began with the recognition that soil erosion reduced of soil fertility. For example, many of the staple crops historically grown in the United States for export—such as cotton, tobacco, and corn—have long been planted in rows to control weeds. However, this left the land bare to rainfall, precipiting soil erosion. Sloping and hilly land is also particularly susceptible to soil erosion.

A number of early agricultural reformers began proposing various soil conserving practices. Jared Eliot, Samuel Deane, and John Taylor (during the late 1600s and early 1700s) relied on personal experiences in suggesting pasture and crop rotations to increase fertility and lessen erosion by maintaining ground ...

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