Thursday, 10 November 2022 12:07

Conserving Our Environment - Agriculture CBC Grade 6 Notes

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SOIL EROSION CONTROL

Meaning of soil erosion

  • Soil erosion is the process by which topsoil is gradually removed from one place, transported and then deposited to another place by action of water, wind animals and human beings.

Agent of soil erosion

  • Water
  • Wind 
  • Animal
  • Human being

Types of soil erosion

  1. Splash erosion
  2. Rill erosion
  3. Sheet erosion
  4. Gully erosion

SPLASH EROSION

  • Is the first stage in the soil erosion process by the action of water.
  • When raindrops hit the bare ground, the soils broken into soil particles.
  • The lighter soil particles are removed and splashed in various directions onto the soil surface by the force or energy of the raindrops.
  • Therefore, small circular depressions can be seen where soil particles have been removed by splash erosion.
  • Splash erosion occurs mainly during heavy rainfall that falls for short duration.
  • Splash erosion causes more damage to soil on sloped land than flat land.
  • The bigger Raindrops have more force or energy than smaller raindrops and therefore cause more splashing.
  • Is also called raindrop erosion because it results from effect of raindrops on the soil.

Demonstrating splash erosion
Pupils activity

Identifying splash erosion in the environment
Pupils activity

SHEET EROSION

  • Sheet flow refers to a thin and uniform layer of moving water.
  • Sheet erosion occurs when a thin layer of soil is removed uniformly by surface runoff on a flat or gently sloping bare land.
  • Sheet erosion occurs when there is heavy rainfall that falls for a short duration
  • In such situations, soil is unable to absorb much of the rainwater which therefore flows as surface runoff.
  • The heavy raindrops splash soil particles while the surface run off carries the fine soil particles, carrying most of the nutrients.
  • It is not easy to notice sheet erosion because the topsoil is removed evenly. By the time this type of erosion is detected, most of the topsoil will have been lost.
  • Most common on recently cultivated land situate on smooth gentle slopes

Signs/indicators of sheet erosion are

  1. Stones below the topsoil are exposed.
  2. Roots of plants including crops, grass and trees are exposed.
  3. Eroded soil and crops remains are deposited at the lower areas of the slope.
  4. Crops yields reduce season after season because of declining soil fertility.

Identifying splash erosion in the environment
Pupils activity

RILL EROSION

  • Rill erosion occurs in places where continuous sheet erosion has taken place.
  • In such places, the runoff carrying soil particles concentrates in small channels or rills down a slope.
  • Several small rills join to form a large rill
  • As runoff flows along the rill, soil is eroded on the sides and the bottom of the rills.
  • The rills reach a depth of up to 30 cm.
  • Rill erosion can be observed when a freshly cultivated land experiences heavy rainfall immediately after cultivation.
  • Rills can easily be removed during normal cultivation of land tools such as hoes and jembes.
  • Rills can also be observed on overgrazed land as well as on paths created due to frequent movements by humans.

Observing rill erosion in our environment
Pupils activity

GULLY EROSION

  • Gullies are long deep ditches with steep sides
  • They are mainly formed on steep slopes where rill erosion has taken place for a long time.
  • As the run off flows down the slope, it widens and deepens the rills, thus creating deep ditches.
  • Gullies are not easy to remove by means of normal cultivation using tools such as hoes because of their great depth.

Identifying gully erosion
Pupils activity

Observing gully erosion in our environment
Pupils activity

METHODS OF CONTROLLING SOIL EROSION

  • To control soil erosion effectively, it is important that the soil surface is protected by suitable ground cover
  • The ground cover controls splash by intercepting the rain drops before they hit the soil particles
  • Ground cover also prevents sheet erosion by reducing the speed of runoff and therefore allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil.
  • Ground covers include
    1. Cover crops
    2. Mulches
    3. Growing grass or vegetation on land and on drainage channels
  • Trees also prevent the soil against erosion by wind in various areas especially in arid and semi-arid areas.
  • Gabions or check dams constructed across gullies to trap the soil but allow water to pass through

Identifying methods of controlling soil erosion

  1. Cover crop
  2. Contour ploughing
  3. Strip cropping
  4. Crop rotation
  5. Conservation tillage
  6. Avoid overgrazing
  7. Reforestation
  8. Improving drainage
  9. Building terraces

Controlling soil erosion in our environment
Pupils activity

Importance of soil conservation in our environment

  1. It helps protect natural resources and water sheds, restores habitats for plants and wildlife, improves water quality and makes soil healthier.
  2. Soil is one of the most valuable resources for any agricultural activity. We depend on it for food, employment and income. Some domestic animals also depend on soil for their pasture.
  3. If soil is washed away, our land will be infertile, as a result water bodies will be destroyed and people can face hunger.
  4. Take measures to prevent soil erosion by taking good care of the soil.
  5. Apply appropriate soil erosion control measures if soil erosion has taken place. The measures will prevent further loss of soil and thus restore health and beauty of our environment

For pupils activity list visit/download Pupil's Activity for Agriculture (all activities) - Agriculture CBC Grade 6 Notes



WATER CONSERVATION

  • It is preservation, control and development of water.
  • You can conserve water by
    • practising mulching,
    • shading and cover cropping,
    • sunken bed, 
    • shallow pits

Sunken beds

  • Sunken beds can be used in dry areas or during dry season.
  • They can be used either as nursery beds or seedbeds.
  • Because the base of the sunken bed is hidden away from strong sunlight and wind, the rate of heat loss is minimal.
  • Sunken beds therefore conserve more moisture than flat or raised beds.

Preparing a sunken bed 

Pupil's Activity

Tools

  • A tape measure
  • Panga
  • Slasher
  • Jembe
  • Shovel
  • A rake
  • A well decomposed compost or farmyard manure.

Steps 

  • Measure the plot of land 1 m wide and any desirable length
  • Clear the vegetation on the measured plot.
  • Dig out the top fertile soil and keep it aside.
  • Dig out the subsoil and heap it on the edges to make an embankment or dyke
  • Mix the topsoil kept aside with some well rotten manure, for every one wheelbarrows of top soil, add one wheelbarrow of manure
  • Return the moisture in the trench leaving a depression of about 10 cm
  • Water the seedbed to make the soil moist.
  • The sunken bed is now ready to be used as a seedbed
    Note: you may also use the sunken bed as a nursery bed to raise young vegetable
    seedlings before you transfer them to the seedbed.

Shallow Pits

  • Also called planting pits or zai pits
  • Planting pits are used as method to prevent water runoff and thereby increase infiltration and reduce erosion
  • The pits trap runoff and thus increase water infiltration into the soil.
  • Mostly practiced in dry regions

Preparing shallow pits

  1. Select a suitable site in the school compound
  2. Dig a pit 60cm×60cm×60cm. Keep the top soil separately.
  3. Put light organic at the bottom of the pit, i.e. dry grass and leaves
  4. Add a layer of top soil mixed decomposed manure.
  5. Leave a depression about 15cm for collection of water and a place for mulching

Importance of conserving moisture in a seedbed

  • Leads to better and more reliable crop yields

For pupils activity list visit/download Pupil's Activity for Agriculture (all activities) - Agriculture CBC Grade 6 Notes



Living Better With Wild Animals

  • Repellents such as smoke, noise and certain smelly substances can keep off wild animals from our crops and domestic animals.
  • Deterrents methods are used to prevent wild animals from damaging our crops and domestic animals. E.g. use of fence, use of light,

Pupils activity

Using fences to keep away wild animals

  • Wire mesh fence and thick thorny bushes fence helps to keep wild animals away from crops and domestic animals
    Pupils activity

Using of innovative light to control wild animals

  • Animals fear random sounds deflecting and blinking or flashing lights.
  • These devices keep wild animals away at night from crops
  • Light bulbs can be installed near cattle bomas or around the gardens
  • Planning how to make innovative deterrents
    Pupils activity

Constructing Innovative Deterrents

Pupils activity

Making sound deterrents

  • Using a device that can produce some loud noise can also help to scare the wild animals
  • The following can be used as deterrents to keep away birds:
    • Spoilt cassette tapes
    • Old reflective Compact Disc (CDs)
    • Reflective tapes.
      Pupils activity

Making a bird feeding table

  • Safe traps can be used to trap some wild animals which then be released back to the forest.
  • During the day birds can be kept away by hanging shiny reflective CDs or reflective ribbons such as shiny party streamers near the garden.
  • The light reflected from the shinny surfaces of such objects distracts the vision of birds.
  • The birds are also scared by sound reflective ribbons make when it is windy.
    Pupils activity
  • Make your feeding table using the locally available materials
  • Select a suitable site to place  the bird feeding table.
  • Regularly, placr some food remains and water on the bird feeding

Importance Of Deterrents In Conserving Wild Animals

  • Wild animals are important because they support our tourism industry which earns revenue for our country.They should not be killed when they come to our farms.
  • Using deterrents helps us to live better or coexist with the wild animals in our environment.
  • Aids in saving the life of wild animals.
  • Birds are a source of beauty and happiness to human beings
  • They trap wild animals which are then released back to the game parks
  • Reflective ribbons scare away birds during the day.


Creeping Crops

  • Creeping crops are plants that naturally spread their weak stems horizontally on the ground rather than vertically.
  • As stems of these plants spread, they produce new plants along the stem.
  • Creeping crops can serve as good cover crops.

Identifying creeping crops

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Strawberries plant
  • Watermelon plant
  • Pumpkin plant
  • Cucumber plant
  • Calabash plant

Planting materials for creeping plants

Identifying planting materials

  • Seeds e.g. cucumbers, pumpkins, melons
  • The seeds are obtained from mature fruits of some creeping crops
  • Seeds can also be bought from reputable seed suppliers – agricultural research stations
  • Vegetative materials e.g. splits and vine cuttings
  • Planting materials for some creeping crops are mainly obtained from living parts of the same plants.
  • Vegetative planting materials can be obtained from farmers, agricultural training centres
  • Pupils activity

Collecting planting materials

  • Slasher/panga/jembe/rake/a shovel/manure
  • Seeds can be obtained from the mature fruits and then dried.
  • Vine cuttings and splits can be obtained from the same plants.
  • They can also be obtained from agricultural training centres and horticultural Research stations

Pupils activity

Planting Creeping Crops

  • A planting site should be prepared before planting the crops.
  • Before planting the creeping crops, we should also prepare the planting materials for better establishment.

Preparing a seedbed

Tools

  • Slasher or panga
  • Jembe
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Fully ddecomposed manure

Steps

  • Clear any vegetation on selected site
  • Dig the land to loosen the soil and remove all weeds.
  • Break all the large soil clods to obtain fine soil
  • Spread well rotten manure over the surface of the land. Mix the manure with soil
  • Level the seedbed

Preparing planting materials from seeds

Tools

  • Knife/water/open container/mature fruit of a creeping crop

Steps

  1. Cut a ripe fruit into two parts
  2. Scoop out the seeds
  3. Clean the seeds with cold water to remove pulp
  4. Spread the seeds in an open container and dry them in the sun for a few days.
  5. Select the good seeds for planting and store them in cool dry place.
    NOTE : Seeds selected for planting should be
    • clean,
    • whole/ unbroken
    • free from insect damage,
    • big in size and of uniform colour.

Preparing other planting materials(splits and vines)

  • To raise new strawberry plants, a strawberry with many crowns is lifted from the soil and then broken into several parts called splits
  • Each split has some roots, stem and leaves. It grows into a new plant once it is planted in a hole.
  • Young vines of sweet potatoes are cut into several pieces each measuring 30 cm.
  • Each of the vine cuttings will develop roots when the bigger part of it is buried in the soil.
  • Planting

Pupils activity

Care For Young Creeping Crops

  1. Watering or irrigating the crops.
    • Water the crops when the weather is dry
    • Best time for watering the crops is early in the morning or in the evening when it is cool
    • Ensure that the soil is most and not too wet
    • Avoid applying water directly on the leaves
    • Drip irrigation should be encouraged since it does not over wet the soil and leaves which can lead to fast spread of diseases.
  2. Mulching the crops
    • Helps to conserve moisture as well as reduce weed growth
    • Also helps to obtain clean fruits since fruits do not touch the soil
  3. Weeding
    • Remove weeds from time to time throughout the growing season.
    • When using tools to weed do not damage the roots, vines of the crop.
  4. Protecting the crop from physical damage.
    • Make a structure to protect the creeping crops from damage by humans and animals.
  5. Shading
    • Provide a shade in case it is very hot and dry during the growing season.
    • It helps to reduce wilting of crops due to too much evaporation an transpiration.
  6. Top dressing with manures
    • Apply organic manure around each crop at the base from time to time
    • You can use compost manure from animals
    • Adequate nutrients help creeping crops to grow fast and produce big leaves and fruits
  7. Training the crops
    • Build structure to support your vine crop to grow upwards.
    • You can also train the young crop by moving the tip of the trailing vines to the desired place.
    • Helps the plant to receive adequate sunlight and occupy small space within a given environment

Conservation project: Managing creeping crops

Pupils work

  • Managing creeping crops means taking care of the established crops so that they can grow healthy and produces high yields.
  • A project schedule plan can be used to effectively manage creeping crops.
  • Everyone involved should take responsibility in ensuring the crops are effectively managed.

Harvesting Creeping Crops

  • Creeping crops should be harvested when the produce is mature and ready for consumption or marketing.
  • Harvesting the crop at the right stage is important because harvesting leads to wastage of the produce.
  • Harvesting should be done carefully to avoid destruction of produce.

How to identifying the right stage of harvesting crops

Pupils activity

How to harvest creeping crops

  • Produce from creeping crop should be harvested appropriately to avoid wastage
  • Poor harvesting may lead to loses during harvesting

Pupils activity

Harvesting and disposal of creeping crops produce

Pupils activity

Value of creeping crops in our environment

  • Creeping crops are important because they provide food for our communities
  • Watermelons, strawberries provide vitamins which protect us against diseases
  • They are good sources of fibre which improves digestion
  • Creeping crops protect the soil against erosion due to their trailing growth habit
  • Creeping crops can be grown any time of the year. Many of them have no seasons. They can provide food security for our community.
  • Pupils activity

For pupils activity list visit/download Pupil's Activity for Agriculture (all activities) - Agriculture CBC Grade 6 Notes

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Read 4326 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 February 2023 11:20