University of Maryland Extension

Contouring

Q. Is it true that the P factor for contouring can be used only if the contours are engineered contours?  

A. No. The contouring P factor is used to show the effects of tillage/planting operations that reduce or direct runoff. Depending upon site conditions, the contouring P subfactor can substantially reduce erosion. In general, some erosion reduction is achieved if tillage/planting operations are less than or equal to a 45 degree angle to the hillside slope. (Source: Mickey Shockley, USDA, NRCS)

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