Research-based evidence on the effects of soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs) on soil physicochemical properties and crop yield is vital either to adopt the practices or design alternative land management strategies. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of about 10-year-old soil bund (SB) and stone-faced soil bund (SFSB) structures on selected soil physicochemical properties, slope gradient, barley grain yield, and yield components in the Lole watershed, in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. The experiment consisted of three treatments: (i) fields treated with SB, (ii) fields treated with SFSB, and (iii) fields without conservation practices (control) with three replications at three slope classes. A total of 27 composite soil samples from 0 to 20 cm depth and barley grain yield samples from 27 locations were collected. The soil samples were analyzed for bulk density, soil texture, porosity, soil reaction, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorous, and potassium. Barley grain yield was analyzed using different agronomic parameters. The result indicated that SB and SFSB positively influenced the physicochemical properties of soils and barley grain yield. The interslope gradient between the successive SBs and SFSBs was reducing. Moreover, the untreated fields showed significantly lower barley grain yield, plant height, and straw biomass. Hence, SB and SFSB practices were found to be effective in changing slope gradient, improving soil fertility, and increasing crop yield. Therefore, this finding is vital to create awareness and convince farmers to construct SWCPs on their farmlands for sustainable land management.
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