Minimum Tillage Or No Tillage (Zero tillage) Concept In Rainfed Farming
Tillage may be defined as the practice of modifying the state of soil in order to provide conditions favorable for plant growth.
Tillage can also been defined as the mechanical manipulation of soil with certain implement or tools to provide a suitable environment for seed germination root growth, weed control, soil erosion control and moisture conservation.
In the recent past, minimum tillage concept come into existence reduing time, labour and machine operations as well as conserving moisture and reducing erosion. The modern technology of herbicides & insecticides made it possible to achieve some tillage requirements without using implements.
Any tillage practice in dry lands which does not return more than its cost by increasing yield and improving soil conditions should be eliminated. Soil need to be worked only enough to assure optimum crop production and weed control.
Aims and objectives of tillage in Rainfed farming:
1. Moisture management: – Soil configuration for in situ moisture conservation, to increase infiltration rate to increase moisture storage capacity of soil profile, to increase aeration to reduce evaporation losses through intertillage operations to provide drainage to remove excess water etc.
2. Erosion control: – contour tillage contour cultivation tillage across the slope.
3. Weed control: – check weed growth & avoid moisture competition.
4. Management of crop residues: – Mixing of trash and decomposition of crop residues retention of trash on top layers to reduce erosion.
5. Improvement of tilth: – minimize the resistance to root penetration, improve soil texture & structure etc.
6. Improvement of soil aeration: – For good growth of crop.
7. Providing food seed – soil contact.
8. Preparing fine surface for seeding operation.
9. Incorporation of manures, fertilizers and agro chemicals (weedicide & soil amendments) into the soil.
10. Insect control.
11. Temperature control for seed germination.