Conservation tillage consists of a variety of practices used in agriculture to reduce wind and water erosion. Soil conservation practices, such as minimum tillage and zero tillage, retain crop residues on the soil surface and reduce intensive mechanical activity. Crop rotation and the regular use of hay, clover, or alfalfa crops increase organic matter in the soil, resulting in better soil structure and lower stress. Manure and an adequate amount of fertilizer have a similar impact.
Sowing places where runoff water accumulates to generate streams covered with grass also helps reduce soil erosion. More specific trends in soil health are best observed and evaluated at the regional level because of the considerable diversity of the landscape, the inherent quality of the soil and agricultural practices.