In its most basic form, tillage is preparing the soil and the land for better crop production. This involves ploughing the soil before sowing. Through this process, the soil is crushed into fine particles. Tilth is the result of tillage which can be coarse, fine, or moderate. Tillage comes with many benefits and objectives. It helps the soil achieve conditions that are perfect for seed germination, seedling establishment, and crop growth.
The most basic and vital objectives of tillage include seedbed preparation, weed control and soil and water conservation. Below are a few other objectives of tillage:
- Obtain conditions that would guarantee a better yield
- Better soil aeration for better gaseous exchange both in soil and root area
- Improvement of soil structure and permeability
- Demolition of pests
- Preparing soil for more water absorption
- Uniform distribution of manure and fertilizers.
- Create a setting where the seedling gets maximum sunlight necessary for growth(Through weed control)
- Provide efficient seed-soil contact in a way the seeds and seedling gets adequate water.
- Increase soil depth
These objectives, ultimately, aim at better crop yield, crop productivity and thus farm income. Tillage ensures high infiltration and reduced runoffs. Also, tillage softens the soil, and the roots tend to proliferate in loose soil. In short, tillage gives the crops a head start by offering a good soil condition ideal for crop establishment and root development.
The objectives of tillage make the process beneficial for the crops in several different ways. Tillage has a significant impact on several physical properties of the soil, like pore space, soil structure, bulk density, water content, and colour. Keep reading to find out those benefits!
- Better decomposition of plant residue improves the soil condition
- Better soil structure reduces the resistance to root growth.
- High water infiltration into subsoil due to increased pore space
- Improves oxidation and decomposition, which, in turn, help in fading of soil colour
- Helps in achieving a soil temperature ideal for seed germination and establishment.
The depth of ploughing is dependent on the required root area for the crop. An advised ploughing depth for shallow-rooted crops is 10-20 cm, and deep-rooted crops are 15-30 cm. The number of ploughing times also varies according to several factors like soil conditions, the time between the cultivation of two crops, and the type of cropping systems followed. Theoretically, an optimal time for ploughing is when the optimum soil moisture content is 60% of field capacity.
The concept of tillage is ever-evolving. Conventional tillage systems that use heavy ploughs can create hardpans in the subsoil, resulting in poor infiltration. Modern tillage techniques are more popular these days, and TAFE has implements that cause less damage to the subsoil and avoid ill effects caused by tillage. This way, a field will benefit from the advantages of tillage without having to go through the after-effects brought by conventional tillage.
TAFE brings implements from AgriStar brand. AgriStar aims at offering efficient solutions that are designed for specific soil conditions and purposes. Check out TAFE implements to understand more about the brand and its strive to meet the emerging needs of modern farming problems. Improve your soil quality and farm productivity through tillage to get the best out of your farms without worrying about the downside of tillage with TAFE implements that stand out in quality and performance!
Reddy Yellamanda, Reddy Sankara, Principles of Agronomy, 2020. Kalyani Publishers