Sediment Control & Soil Management

Containing sediment on the farm helps prevent erosion and soil loss and also prevents the contamination of streams and river with sediment and the pollutants carried by sediment.

Guides to Multiple Resources

Collection of Practice and Guidance Documents from RCD Monterey Co.
Source: RCD Monterey Co. | The website for the RCD Monterey County has a collection of technical references and guidance documents to assist with water conservation, water quality and erosion control.

Agricultural Practices
Source: RCD Santa Cruz Co | The RCD Santa Cruz Co. website has photo displays and brief descriptions of may farm water and soil conservation practices. You can also request a consultation.

Soil Management
Source: CA Ag Water Stewardship Initiative | This website describes the benefits of reduced tillage and other soil management practices. It has links to many useful resources and case studies.

Publications by RCD Santa Cruz
Source: RCD Santa Cruz Co | RCD Santa Cruz County has developed many conservation publications that pertain to a wide variety of topics including road maintenance, hedgerows, storm water runoff, and manure composting.

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Hillslope and Contour Farming

Hillslope Farming Runoff Management Practices Guide
Source: RCD Monterey Co. | This illustrated guide provides information on how to install and maintain several management practices to reduce erosion on hillslopes: row arrangement, cover crops, vegetated filter strips, road seeding, road protection, drains and outlets, and sediment control basins. Also included is information on where to get technical support.

Contour Farming
Source: NRCS | Aligning the row grade as closely as possible to the land contour can achieve the greatest reduction in erosion. This guide provides information on how to plan and develop field planting along contours.

Contour Orchard and Other Fruit Area
Source: NRCS | This guide describes how to plant orchards and vineyards on contoured landscape to reduce soil and water loss and create a more efficient operation for farm equipment.

Estimated Costs and Benefits of On-Farm row arrangement
Source: UCCE | Costs for the installation, operation and management of a hedgerow as well as the benefits and drawbacks.

Furrow Alignment How-To Guide
Source: RCD Monterey Co. | How to plan furrows on sloped ground and realize the benefits of more uniform irrigation, less water ponding, easier harvesting, and lower erosion.

Row Arrangement
Source: NRCS | Planning crop row placement (grade, length and direction) can provide improved erosion control, drainage and make better use of irrigation and rain water.

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Hedge Row Planting
Source: NRCS | By establishing dense vegetation along a field edge, several objectives can be accomplished: living fences, wind barrier, screen for dust or noise, habitat.

Hedgerow Brochure
Source: RCD Santa Cruz Co | Description of plant selection, how to establish the hedgerow and the benefits.

Estimated Costs and Benefits for a Perennial Hedgerow plantingSource: UCCE | Row arrangement can slow and direct the flow of water, thus reducing erosion. This study provides information on costs and benefits for contour farming.

Contour Buffer Strips
Source: NRCS | The use of narrow strips of herbaceous vegetative cover established across the slope and alternated down-slope can reduce erosion, sediment transport, and enhance wildlife habitat. This practice guide provides information on how to install buffer strips.

Filter Strip
Source: NRCS | Guide describing how to install filter strips for sediment removal in runoff and intercepting pollutants.

Grassed Waterway
Source: NRCS | Guide to installing grassed waterways for sediment removal in runoff and intercepting pollutants.

Estimated Costs and Benefits of non-Engineered Grassed Waterways
Source: UCCE | This study is intended as an estimate or guide, which can be helpful in evaluation management decisions related to the installation, operation and maintenance of non-engineered grassed waterways.

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Cover Crops

Conservation Cover
Source: NRCS | This practice applies on land to be retired from agricultural production, requiring permanent protective cover.

Conservation Crop Rotation
Source: NRCS | Growing crops in a recurring sequence on the same field can help reduce erosion, balance plant nutrients, manage pests and other benefits. This practice guide provides an overview of what to consider in determining crop rotation.

Sediment Basins

Estimated Costs and Benefits of a Sediment Control Basin
Source: UCCE | Sediment control basins can remove soil from runoff and protect downstream water. This paper evaluates the cost of installation and maintenance as well as the benefits and drawbacks.

Sediment Basin
Source: NRCS | How to size and construct a sediment basin including the design, planning, operation and maintenance of the basin.

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