Controlling runoff and erosion

Soil conservation practices that control runoff and erosion minimize the risks of ground-and surface-water contamination. Management practices you can use to minimize the risk of surface water contamination include the following.

  • Provide a vegetative cover over the soil surface that protects the soil from direct raindrop impact and promotes water infiltration.
  • Avoid the surface application of manure or compost prior to rainfall.
  • Cover compost or manure piles or establish water diversion areas upslope from the piles and nutrient runoff buffer areas downslope from the piles.
  • Do not apply fertilizers or manure in a way that allows nutrient levels in the soil to become excessive.
  • Avoid excess traffic within fields, especially when the soil is wet, to minimize compaction.

Strongly Acid

Medium Acid


Very Slightly Alkaline

Slightly Alkaline

Medium Alkaline

Strongly Alkaline

4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0 9.5 10.0

Related ATTRA Publications

For more monitoring information and tools, see the following ATTRA publications.

National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Producers

Organic Field Crops



The availability of plant nutrients in soils is affected by the soil's pH.

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