Strip Cropping is designed to protect crops, control soil erosion, and protect against flood damage on flood plains. Due to traditional strip cropping design, of planting on the contour in a sequence of crop, stubble and fallow strips, the land for actual cropping is limited to one third. This is ultimately ineffective in drought years and takes land out of productive use, so a more effective design was being sought.
Vetiver hedgerows were applied to protect cropping land and crops from soil erosion and flood damage, whilst also acting to conserve soil moisture. Applied between crops, the hedgerows take up less land than the traditional strip cropping design and effectively slow water velocity, increase water infiltration and trap sediments.
This Vetiver System application has been successfully used to eliminate flood and erosion damage to soil and crops on the Darling Downs flood plain in Queensland and Liverpool Plain in NSW. It offers a permanent protection solution, which allows farmers a greater amount of land for cropping, resulting in an increase in productivity.