The soils of farmlands, grazing lands, and forestlands provide many products and recreational areas. Soil conservationists work to ensure the wise use of these soils.

Wise use of farmlands involves maintaining a high level of nutrients and organic matter in cultivated soils. Farmers add organic matter to the soil by plowing under certain green plants. They also add fertilizers and rotate crops to replace nutrients that leaching and growing plants remove. In addition, farmers plow and plant their fields in ways that control erosion.

Grazing lands that have been overgrazed also suffer from erosion. Overgrazing decreases the amounts of plant life and organic matter in the soil, and the soil erodes easily. Ranchers conserve grazing lands by limiting the time that their herds graze in one area.

Forestlands also must be protected from erosion. In some cases, foresters leave unusable branches and other parts of trees on the forest floor to add organic matter to the soil. They also develop large groups of trees whose roots protect the soil by holding it in place against wind and water erosion.
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