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How Brian Fischer Made Soil Conservation Become Art


Brian-Fischer-erosion-control-art-1020x610Soil conservation is a work of art. Brian Fischer, a South Australian farmer, was faced with a dilemma after brush fires devastated his fields.

South Australia has had record dry spells and wild fires. The bare ground was prone to erosion and Fischer was concerned about losing top soil. So he plowed an intricate geometric design in his fields.

He did not set out to create a work of art.“It’s really worked. It’s stopped [the erosion] completely. You only get one shot at doing that. If you do it and don’t get it right, if you get it wrong, you can’t go back.” stated Ficsher on 3AW, a local radio program.

Fischer said he learned the technique from his father who most likely learned it from older farmers in the area. While plowing he created ridges that protect the soil from the winds . Fischer estimates that 15cm (6inches) of soil have been saved from erosion.

In fact Contour plowing is a very old tradition that dates back to the Phoenicians. By plowing and planting using the slope of the land you provide brakes which help to stop wind and water movement across the soil. Contour plowing is popular among sustainable farmers as a method to conserve soil. Erosion causes loss of top soil, water pollution and habitat loss.

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