what is tillage in agricultural science
is the process of loosening the topmost soil before planting commences in other to expose the soil nutrients to the reach of plant roots
5. Tillage Practices
Land tillage is the operation that follows after the land area has been cleared, stumped and plotted. Tillage involves the opening up of the soil for seed planting. This could be done by means of simple farm implements like ploughs, harrows or ridgers could be used in tilling the land. This is used mostly under large scale farming. The purpose of tillage is the same whether hand tools or mechanized equipment are used.
Importance of land tillage practices
1. It provides good soil environment for germination and emergence of seeds.
2. It encourages aggregation of particles for better contact between seed roots and soil.
3. It helps to improve aeration of the soil
4. It assists the farmer in weed control.
5. Organic matter is incorporated into the soil during tillage operations, thereby increasing soil nutrients.
6. It improves the soil physical conditions such as infiltration rate of water in the soil and water holding capacity.
However, constant or constant or continous tillage makes the soil loose and easily eroded. Leaching of bases could occur, resulting in soil acidity.
This involves the tilling or turning of the soil upside down. It can be done with a hoe, a spade, or a tractor driven plough in the tropical regions or mould-board plough, used mostly in the temperate regions. Animals could be used to draf the plough during tilling. It is usually the first equipment to usf on cleared farmland. The plough cuts and inverts large lumps soil. Weed seeds are then buried below cultivated seeds. The disc plough is more suitable for use in heavy, stick) and dry tropical sails tlifin the mouldboard plough.
(b) Harrowing: The harrow is the next equipment used after land has beeif ploughed. It is used to further breakdown the lar| lumps of soil cut by the plough into smaller pieces. This called pulverisation of soil. The disc harrows are more suitabl for use in tropical environment. After harrowing it may possible to grow crops such as rice which do not require sei beds or ridges. However, it may be necessary to construct set beds or ridges for other crops such as yam, tomato and groundni after harrowing. This will necessitate the next operation which is ridging.
(c) Ridging: This is the last stage in land preparation for planting of seeds or seedlings. It can be done by means of Indian hoes tractor driven disc ridger or mouldboard ridger. Animals could be used to drag ridger for ridge making.
Ridging is done normally across the slope of the land to prevent it from being washed away by erosion. It is spaced 1m apart. This is measured from the top or crest of one ridge to the other. The length of the ridge depends on available land and choice the farmer. A standard ridge should should be 25m long. It has a conically shaped top or rrest or triangular shape. The trench between two ridges is called furrow. Tie-ridges can be constructed at intervals between two ridges especially in the school farms.They are also called cross-bars. They help to keep water in the furrow for plant use in the ridges and prevent water erosion.
Ridging increases the depth of surface soil for better crop growth. Manure is better provided for crop use during ridging.
Ridging provides fine tilts that makes it easier for roots to penetrate and get food for plants in the soil. Other forms of seed beds are:
(i) Heap: This is a built up small cone shaped hill usually less than 60 cm high. It is constructed with a hoe for growing tuber crops such as yam and cassava.
(j) Mound: This is a raised heap with circular base. It is made with hoes and used for growing root and tuber crops such as yam. Coco-yam, cassava, potatoes and others. More than one crop can be sown at one time on it. It is commonly used in Igbo farming communities of Nigeria.
(iii) Flat seed bed: This is used in low rainfall areas or periods or level and well drained land. There may be no other construction in this case, after farmland has been ploughed-and harrowed. It is used foreclose, growing crops such as rice.
(iv) A bed: This ronld be a SPP’H bed used for initial growing of crops before transplanting to the field or root bed us^ growing crops to maturity. A bed generally is a raised top soil with square or rectangular flat top. It is suitable for vegetable crop production, though, other crops such as tobacco, cocoa, and citrus could be raised first in a seed be< (nursery bed), that is usually 1.20 m wide and 25 m long for a standard bed. don't forget to use the comment box and leave a message or suggestion and we will get back to you within seconds. You can read some of most interesting topics below HERE YOU WILL FIND EVERY AVAILABLE TOPICS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY. AND THE LINKS TO THEIR VARIOUS SOURCES. 1. DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE
2. IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
79. SOIL STRUCTURE
80. SANDY SOIL
81. CLAY SOIL
82. LOAMY SOIL
83. SOIL TEXTURE
84. IDENTIFICATION OF SOIL TYPES THROUGH EXPERIMENTS
85. RETENTION OF WATER BY VARIOUS SOIL TYPES
86. DETERMINATION OF SOIL PH REACTION
87. COLORIMETRIC DETERMINATION OF SOIL PH LEVEL
88. PH SOIL TEST
89. PLANT NUTRIENTS
90. MACRO NUTRIENTS IN GENERAL
112. THE MAINTENANCE OF SOIL FERTILITY
113. CROP ROTATION
114. APPLICATION OF ORGANIC MANURES
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