Farming on the contour, rows are perpendicular to the slope. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.
Contour farming is growing crops "on the level" across or perpendicular to a slope rather than up and down the slope. The rows running across the slope are designed to be as level as possible to facilitate tillage and planting operations on the contour.
Similar or related practices covered in this Conservation Funding Guide include contour stripcropping, contour buffer strips, terraces, grass waterways, conservation tillage and conservation crop rotation.
Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service
See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District