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Tillage Types

Types of Tillage You Need to Know Now

Agriculture has many aspects that reap the final output of abundant harvest. Tillage forms the base of agriculture. There are different tillage types known in agriculture; below are some facts about them.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Getting that fresh heap of crops needs a lot of effort and planning. Agriculture as we know is the most widely spread occupation and is truly, the back bone of food and supplies. More than just providing food, a lot more adds to its importance. Those into agriculture will know, in the entire process, every aspect from the seed, the soil and water, will need a good base to create the final and fruitful harvest.

The basic and the most primary need, is to prepare the soil for sowing, to create a land that is firm to hold the root or seed and that has good capacity of absorbing the water and other necessary elements, for abundant and healthy crop. Tilling the land is the process that creates soil conditions, or prepares the soil for the next process of sowing. Undoubtedly, this is the most important process in agriculture. Tilling of the land can be defined as the process of digging the soil, turning the soil to loosen it. It uses different mechanisms for this purpose, right from traditional ones like shoveling, harrowing, plowing to the most advanced ones using machines and rollers. It is a process that is continued in different patterns right from harvesting the first crop to sowing the next one. The timely tilling of soil is important, considering the moisture and other factors of the soil. Tilling is one basic process, and is classified in two types. What are these two types of tilling, and what makes them different from each other? Know all about these facts in the information below.

Types of Tillage

There are two different types of tillage, mainly: Primary tilling and Secondary tilling. There is not a big difference in both these types. These together form the term called preparatory tillage. Each of the type is described in detail.

Primary Tilling
Primary tillage can be described as the tillage that is done basically to open up the packed soil. It is also the first tilling of the soil done after the harvest of the last crop. It is carried out once the soil conditions are just right, with enough moisture to plow and loosen the land and also strong to create the traction in soil. Most of the traditional primary plowing can be done well in moist soil, whereas more dry soil needs strong and mechanical equipment for tillage.

The primary function of tillage loosens the soil, while also aerating it. It also creates a layer of soft soil, that is at least of a depth of 10 cm. Primary tilling also removes any unwanted plants, crop residues and weeds in the soil, as during tillage the roots of the weeds will get destroyed. The wet season is specially the best time to till the soil, as tilling also aids trapping water in the soil. Primary tilling is further classified into:

Deep tilling - It is done to turn out large size clods, deep tilling is required for certain types of crops, mainly for deep rooted and long duration crops. It is done considering the type of land and soil, so as to benefit the harvest.

Subsoiling - It is basically the process that destroys the hard pans in the soil if any. These can be clay pans, silt or aluminum pans that can prevent the roots of the crop from reaching deep in the soil. It is done to destroy these pans without disturbing the layer of the soil on top. A narrow cut in the soil is made, where the subsoiler will break the hard pans, with its share.

Year round - As the name describes, it is tillage carried out throughout the year. It is basically done in lands of dry farming. Where the summer showers benefit the crop. This tilling is done repeatedly, till the sowing is done, and also after the harvesting of the crop.

Secondary Tilling
Secondary tilling of the crop is carried out after primary tilling. It basically, defines the lighter or less aggressive operations done in the soil. The large clods of soils and stubbles that remain after the primary tilling of soil, are reduced to more fine soil, with the help of harrowing the soil in a shallow depth. This also includes planking of the soil to level and create a slight compact in the soil. The number of times that secondary tillage is done is usually dependent on the clods in the soil and the texture of the soil after primary tilling. Usually 2 to 3 secondary tilling are carried out for soil.

Tillage operations have developed in the recent years, there are many additions to the methods and types of tillage like conservation tillage. Taking in consideration the crop, region, weather conditions and the land, tillage is carried out. With these facts on tillage types, we have additions on our concepts of agriculture and definitely a wise perspective on the entire process of it.