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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Tillage





After a piece of land is cleared of vegetation, it is tilled to loosen the soil and the plant roots. Ploughs, spades and how's are used to break up the soil. Big clods of soil are further broken up and plant remains are cut up and ploughed under. In large scale farming, machinery is used. Fertilizer is raked into the soil at the final tillage stage.

   Tilling is necessary for crop cultivation in order to

i. Increase the ability of the soil to absorb water,
ii. Prepare a seed bed for crops,
iii. Admit air to the soil, and
iv to remove weeds.

However, it must be done in such a way as to avoid damage to soil structure. Farmers are encouraged to till the soil only to the necessary extent and use tined implements rather than disc implements. The latter shatters and  breaks  up the soil too much, resulting in dust formation.

    Tilled soil must be protected from the wind and the rain. This is often done by mulching or planting a fast growing cover crop.

   An over tilled soil will become dry and powdery. Its topsoil can easily be blown away by strong winds. This results in land erosion.