Tilth and Tillage: Types of Tillage Operations
Types of Tillage Operations: Tillage includes use of different kinds of implements at different times are classified on the basis of their timing into-3types:
1. Preparatory tillage: Tillage operations that are carried out from the time of harvest of a crop to the sowing of the next crop are known as preparatory cultivation/ Tillage. OR Operations carried out in any cultivated land to prepare seedbed for sowing crops are preparatory tillage. These are time consuming & costly but are to be performed at right stage of soil moisture & with right implements, otherwise it will not helps in good growth of crop. These includes in sequence, plouging, clod crushing, leveling, discing , harrowing, manure mixing & compacting the soil and implements to be used are ploughs, clod crushers, disc ploughs or harrow , bladed harrow etc.
It includes primary & secondary tillage:
a) Primary tillage: It mainly includes the ploughing operation which is opening of the compacted soil with the help of different ploughs. Ploughing is done to:
1) Open the hard soil,
2) Separate the top soil from lower layers,
3) Invert the soil whenever necessary and
4) Uproot the weeds & stubbles.
The cutting & inverting of the soil that is done after the harvest of the crop or untitled fallow or to bring virgin or new land under cultivation is called primary tillage. It may be done once or twice a tear in normal or settled agriculture or once in four to five years in dry land agriculture.
b) Secondary tillage : Lighter or finer operation performed on the soil after primary tillage are known as secondary tillage which includes the operations performed after ploughing, leveling, discing, harrowing etc.
2. Seedbed preparation: when the soil is brought to a condition suitable for germination of seeds & growth of crops, called as SEEDBED.
After preparatory tillage the land is to be laid out properly for irrigating crops if irrigation is available for sowing or planting seeding which are known as seedbed preparation: It includes harrowing, leveling, compacting the soil, preparing irrigation layouts such as basins, borders, rides & furrows etc. and carried out by using hand tools or implements like harrow, rollers plank, rider etc. After field preparation, sowing is done with seed drills. Seeds are covered & planking is done so as to level & impart necessary compaction.
3. Inter tillage/ Inter cultivation/ Interculture/ after care operation: The tillage operations that are carried out in the standing crop are called inter tillage operations. The tillage operation done in the field after sowing or planting and prior to the harvesting of crop plants known as inter cultivation. It includes gap filling , thinning , weeding , mulching, top dressing of fertilizers, hoeing, earthling up etc. unless these are carried out at right time, with suitable implements mainly hoes & hand tools the crop will not attain a vigorous growth. These operations are carried out in between the crop rows.