Leaching is the transport of soil elements (sediment, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) by surface water (rain).
This phenomenon has two consequences:
- Depletion and deterioration of leached soil;
- Pollution of watercourses and sedimentary deposits.
Some agricultural practices can favour or, conversely, fight this phenomenon: the direction of furrows, the presence of buffer zones, etc.
Diagram showing leaching and the role of buffer zones, downstream, in trapping elements that have been carried away. © Arpent nourricier CC by-sa