Tillage Point Wise Notes for Competitive exam

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Jethro Tull is considered as father of tillage.

• Jethro Tull proposed a theory that plants absorb minute particles of soils.

Tillage is the physical manipulation of soil to result in good tilth for better germination and subsequent growth of crops.

• Tilth is a physical condition of the soil resulting from tillage.

• Tilth indicates size distribution of aggregates and mellowness or friability of soil.

• Relative proportion of different sized soil aggregates is known as size distribution of soil aggregates.

• Higher percent of larger aggregates > 5mm diameter are necessary for irrigated agriculture.

• Higher percent of smaller aggregates of 1-2 mm diameter are desirable for dry land agriculture.

• Size distribution of aggregates depends on soil type, soil moisture content at which ploughing is done and subsequent cultivation.

Mellowness or friability is that property of soil by which the clods when dry become more crumbly.

• Seed bed should be fine for small seeded crops and moderate for bold seeded crops.

Summer deep ploughing improves soil structure due to alternate drying and cooling.

• Frequent harrowing results in destruction of soil structure.

• Tillage at improper moisture damages soil structure and leads to development of hard pans.

• Tillage hastens organic matter decomposition by improving soil aeration which helps in multiplication of microorganisms.

• Degradation of herbicides, pesticides and allelopathic chemicals increases under tillage.

• Roots occupy only a tenth of soil mass.

Crop residues and farmyard manure decomposition increases when incorporated in the soil.

Air filled spaces between soil particles constitute pore space.

• With tillage pore space is increased.

• When soil is in good tilth, capillary and non capillary pores would be roughly equal.

• Soils with crumbly and granular clods are considered as soils with good structure.

• When soil is subjected to tillage at optimum soil moisture, crumb structure is delayed.

• Soil aggregates of 1-5 mm size are favourable for growth of the plants.

• Bulk density of tilled soil is less than untilled soil.

• Organic matter is mainly responsible for dark brown to dark grey colour of soil.

• Tillage increases oxidation and decomposition of organic matter resulting in fading of colour.

• Roughness is a measure of micro-elevations and depressions caused by furrows and ridges, clods and depression.

• Random roughness indicates elevation and depressions of the field without a pattern.

• Tillage creates optimum temperature for seed germination and seedling establishment.

• Tillage loosens the soil surface and decreases thermal conductivity and heat capacity.

Preparatory cultivation is carried out before sowing the crop.

After cultivation is practiced after sowing the crop.

• Tillage operations that are carried out from the time of harvest of a crop to sowing of next crop is known as preparatory cultivation.

Preparatory cultivation includes primary tillage, secondary tillage and layout of seed bed.

• Ploughing is opening of compacted soil with the help of different ploughs.

• Ploughing is mainly done to open the hard soil.

• Optimum range of soil moisture for effective ploughing is 25 to 50% depletion of available soil moisture.

• Light soils can be ploughed in wide range of soil moisture conditions while the range is narrow for heavy soils.

• Depth of ploughing depends on the effective root zone depth of the crops.

• Crops with taproot system require greater depth of soil, while fibrous, shallow rooted crops require shallow ploughing.

• In heavy soils 3 to 5 ploughings are needed.

• In light soils 1 to 3 ploughings are required.

Country plough is used for multiple purposes.

Disc plough is used for cutting of creeping or spreading grass and inversion.

Tractor drawn mouldboard plough used for deep ploughing and inversion.

Animal drawn mouldboard plough is used for incorporation of manures, fertilizers and plant residues.

1 cm of surface soil over one hectare of land weighs about 1.50 t.

• In western countries deep ploughing is 50cm depth for rainfed conditions 70cm for irrigated conditions

According to CRIDA, shallow ploughing- 5-6 cm medium deep ploughing- 15-20 cm deep ploughing- 25-30 cm.

• A deep tillage of 25-30cm depth is necessary for deep rooted crops like pigeonpea.

• Moderate deep tillage of 15-20 cm is required for maize.

Residual effect of deep tillage is marginal.

• It is advisable to go for deep ploughing only for long duration, deep rooted crops.

• Cotton roots grow to a depth of 2m in deep alluvial soil without any pans.

• When hard pans are present, cotton roots grow only upto 15-20 cm.

• Subsoiling is breaking the hard pan without inversion and with less disturbance of top soil.

• Chisel ploughs are used to break hard pans present even at 60-70 cm.

• Effect of subsoiling does not last long.

• To avoid closing of subsoil furrow, vertical mulching is adopted.

• Tillage operations carried out throughout the year are known as year round tillage.

• For wheat, soybean, pearl millet, groundnut, castor flat levelled seed bed is prepared.

• For maize, vegetables field has to be laid out into ridges and furrows.

• Sugarcane is planted in furrows or trenches.

• Crops like tobacco, tomato, chillies are planted with equal inter and intra-row spacing to facilitate two-way intercultivation.

• Setline planting is adopted in Gujarat for sowing cotton and groundnut.

• In setline planting every year seed rows are in the same place, since the seed lines are set permanently at wider spacings.

• In setline planting inter-row space is not cultivated.

• Tillage operations carried out in the standing crop are called after tillage.

• After cultivation includes side dressing of fertilizers, earthing up and intercultivation.

• Earthing up is carried out with country plough or ridge plough.

Earthing up provides extra support against lodging in sugarcane, more soil volume for better growth of tubers like potato, facilitates irrigation in vegetables.

Intercultivation serve as moisture conservation measure by closing deep cracks in black soils.

• Ploughs are used for primary tillage.

• Cultivators, harrows, plank and rollers are used for secondary tillage.

• Concept of minimum tillage was started in USA.

• Reason for introducing minimum tillage was high cost of tillage due to steep rise in oil prices in 1974.

• Minimum tillage aims at reducing tillage to the minimum.

• Seed germination is lower with minimum tillage.

• In minimum tillage more nitrogen has to be added as rate of decomposition of organic matter is slow.

• In minimum tillage nodulation is affected in some leguminous crops like peas and broad bean.

Zero tillage is an extreme form of minimum tillage.

• Zero tillage is also known as no-till.

• In zero tillage, primary tillage completely avoided and secondary tillage is restricted to seed bed preparation in row zone only.

• Zero tillage is resorted to soils subjected to wind and water erosion.

• Organic matter content increases in zero tilled soils due to less mineralization.

• Large population of perennial weeds appears in zero tilled plots.

• Continuous adoption of zero-tillage reduced the infestation of Phalaris minor to a great extent.

• Successful examples of zero tillage in India are Rice followed by wheat, in North India Rice followed by maize, in coastal Andhra Pradesh Rice followed by black gram .

• Traditional methods of tillage are developed in temperate moist climates increases soil erosion when used indiscriminately in arid land cultivation.

Dust bowl of central United States created due to ploughing original prairie lands for growing cereals with clean tillage methods.

• In stubble mulch tillage, soil protected at all times whether by growing a crop or by residues left on the surface during fallow periods.

Stubble mulch farming is the year round system of managing plant residues with implements that undercut residue, loosen the soil and kill weeds.

• Unlike other tillage operations, puddling aims at destroying soil structure.

• Soils with bulk density less than 1.0 are considered as problematic soils as puddling with animal drawn implements is difficult.

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