Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural Engineering


The production of grass in pastures of sloping terrain is usually limited by the lack of soil moisture. Moisture which would otherwise be available for plant growth is lost due to a high degree of surface runoff. When the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate in which water infiltrates into the soil, surface depressions are filled and overland flow begins. Pastures on sloping land are susceptible to high runoff rates. This is due in part to the fact that grazing lessens surface detention, when slopes are covered with thick stands of grass, a rather large volume of precipitation will be in surface detention. Numerous conservation practices have been used on pastures and ranges land in an effort to reduce runoff, conserve moisture, improve plant cover and increase forage yields. Contour furrowing and pitting of hill pastures has been an accepted conservation practice. Pitting of pasture or range land is done with an eccentric disk. Contour furrows provide slightly greater runoff control then do range pits. Pasture contour furrows have been constructed on hundreds of acres in South Dakota. Recently an increasing interest shown in this conservation practice has stimulated a need for pasture furrowing research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agricultural machinery


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University