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Land Preparation

Agriculture comprises of many branches. One of them is crop production. The initial stage of crop production is land preparation. In order to prepare land we need farm implement which you covered under farm tools and equipment.







Methods of land clearing

 

Glossary

Land preparation:-it entails all the activities that make

land suitable for planting

Land clearing:- is the removal of vegetative cover

from the surface before land is tilled.

Primary cultivation:-opening of the land either after

clearing the bush or following the previous crop.

Secondary tillage:-refinement practices before planting,

Also referred to as harrowing.

 

Tertiary operations:- operations carried out to suit

production of certain crops.

Ridging:- Process of digging soil in a continuous line

and heaping it in one side.

Rolling:- This is compacting the soil which is loose or

of fine tilth.Done to prevent small seeds from being carried away

Leveling :- Practice of making the soil surface flat and

uniform so as to promote easy germination of small


 

Primary cultivation

The following are conditions under which farm implements are used.

  • Used where there is dry soil
  • Used in areas where there are stones, stumps and couch grass
  • Used in hilly areas
  • Used to break hard pans

Farm implement for primary cultivation



Identify the farm implement illustrated ___________________



Give the advantages of using this farm implement

 

Land Preparation 

Lesson objectives 

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:-

i) explain the importance of land preparation

ii) describe the two types of cultivation

iii) relate each cultivation operation to the correct tools and implements

iv) appreciate preparation of land ready for crop production.

 

Importance of land preparation

  • To kill weeds.
  • Incorporate manure and other organic matter into the soil.
  • Improve soil aeration.
  • Destroy different stages of crop pest such as egg, larval, pupae or adults by burying them or exposing them to predators.
  • To encourage penetration of roots in the soil
  • To make subsequent operations possible.
  • Encourage water infiltration into the soil.

 

Land Clearing

A mower being used for land clearing during seedbed preparation or in topping during pasture maintenance

 

Plough

for Primary Cultivation



Plough is one equipment used in land preparation for a suitable seedbed

 

Equipment for Tertiary Operations



Tools and equipment used in subsequent operations after ploughing to make suitable seedbed .Such operations include planting, fertilizer application,rolling and ridging.

 

Importance of primary cultivation

  • Expose soil borne pests and pathogen to suns heat
  • Bring up nutrients present in the subsoil to surface
  • Improve water infiltration
  • Incorporate organic matter thereby improving aeration, fertility and structure
  • Loosen soil for easy germination and root development
  • Kill weeds

 

Primary cultivation can be achieved through the following ways




Hand digging as part of land preparation for a suitable seedbed in small scale farming




Mechanical cultivation to break hardpan for preparation of a deep and large seedbed



ox- plough



An ox- plough is used to prepare a shallow seedbed

The depth of ploughing is determined by the following

  • Type of crop to be grown
  • Type of soil
  • Implement available

The choice of the correct implement is determined by

  • Condition of soil
  • Depth of cultivation
  • Implement available

Reasons for timely cultivation

  • Kill weeds
  • Decompose weeds into organic matter
  • Allow enough time for carbon dioxide and other gases to diffuse out of the soil while being replaced by oxygen which is important for germination and growth of soil organism.
  • To encourage early planting
  • See the video next page to appreciate primary cultivation

 

Importance of secondary cultivation


Break large clods to reasonable tilth
Allow easy planting
To level the field in order to achieve a uniform depth at planting
Kill weeds
Mix up organic matter in the soil Improve soil aeration

Factors determining the number of times secondary cultivations should be done include:

  • Condition of the soil after primary cultivation
  • Size of planting material
  • Slope of the land
  • The moisture content of the soil

 

Primary and secondary cultivation



What are the reasons for carrying out primary and secondary cultivation?

Reasons for for carrying out primary and secondary cultivation

  • Kill weeds
  • Decompose weeds into organic matter
  • Allow enough time for carbon dioxide and other gases to diffuse out of the soil while being replaced by oxygen which is important for germination and growth of soil organism.
  • Break the soil into appropriate tilth for the required seed bed.
  • See the video next page to appreciate secondary cultivation

Tertiary Operations

Minimum Tillage


This is the application that combines all farming practices aimed at least disturbance of the soil.

The operations include:
Application of herbicides
Use of mulch on the soil surface
Restricting cultivation to the area where seed are to be planted
Establishing cover crop on the field
Uprooting or slashing weeds in perennial crops.

 

Mowing weeds during minimum tillage



Mowing land for planting

 

Reasons for carrying out minimum tillage

  • To prevent exposure of humus to adverse conditions such as the suns heatthat cause volatilisation of nitrogen
  • To maintain soil structure
  • To control soil erosion
  • To conserve moisture
  • Prevent disturbance of roots
  • Reduce cost of operations

Mulching for minimum tillage



Mulch for soil conservation

Tertiary operations

See the movie and discuss activities in the operation (Harrowing, ridging, rolling, levelling and fertilizer application)



These are operations carried out to suit the preparation of given seedbed used when producing certain crops.



Examples of such operations include:-

  • Ridging
  • Rolling
  • Levelling

 

Sub-soiling



This is the process of cultivating the soil for the purpose of breaking up the hardpans

 

Importance Sub-soiling

  • Breaking up the hardpans
  • Facilitating gaseous exchange in the soil
  • Bringing to the surface minerals which might have leached to the deeper layers.

 

Tertiary operations activities

Rolling and Leveling:

These activities are carried at once to lower the cost and save time as shown below

 



Sub-soiling

is done where soil is compacted and there is need to improve drainage and aeration as shown below.


Ridging

Ridging

is the process of digging soil in a continous line and heaping it on one side It

is done when preparering a seedbed for tubers or roots among other planting materials for example Sweet potatoes planted in ridges.

Tertiary operations activities

Rolling and Leveling:

These activities are carried at once to lower the cost and save time as shown below

 

 


Sub-soiling

is done where soil is compacted and there is need to improve drainage and aeration as shown below.

Ridging

Ridging

is the process of digging soil in a continous line and heaping it on one side It

is done when preparering a seedbed for tubers or roots among other planting materials for example Sweet potatoes planted in ridges

 

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