Madison County Soil Conservation District 

Serving to Conserve Madison County's Soil & Related Natural Resources Since 1941

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Terraces are storm water conveyance channels constructed across the slope of a crop field to control the flow of storm runoff and minimize sheet, rill, and gully erosion. A typical terrace is usually built a foot and a half high from the channel to the top of the ridge with the channel graded to fall uniformly approximately 5 inches every 100 feet. This relatively flat grade usually minimizes erosion in the channel and allows terraces to be cropped without having to be established in grass. Terraces are usually constructed in a series down the slope.  Depending on the steepness of the slope rill erosion can usually be minimized with terraces constructed at 100 to 150 feet intervals. Terraces are constructed by cutting  a channel to a maximum depth of 10 to 12 inches across the slope and using the cut material to build a ridge approximately 15 feet down hill from the channel that is approximately 10 to 12 inches high. Terraces can be built using a dozer or a dirt pan or in combination.  The finished terrace usually has a 15 foot cut slope that is tapered down to a 4 foot wide channel bottom, a 15 foot front slope, a 4 foot wide ridge top, and a 15 foot back slope. The height of the terrace from the bottom of the channel to the top of the ridge will range from 1 to 2 feet. The terrace flow is either taken to a vegetated outlet or is discharged through a pipe into a ditch. 



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    Madison County Soil Conservation District    -    313 North Parkway    -   Jackson, Tennessee 38305   -  (731) 668-1544 ext. 3   -   FAX: 1-855-584-5847