Tillage operation requirement for field crops

TILLAGE OPERATION FOR FIELD CROPS

RICE (Oryza sativa L.)

Transplanted Puddled Lowland Rice
Wet nursery

Forming Seedbeds

  • Mark plots of 2.5m breadth with channels 30cm wide all around the seedbeds.
  • Length of the seed bed may vary from 8 to 10m according to soil and slope of the land.
  • Collect the puddled soil from the channel and spread on the seedbeds or drag a heavy stone along the channel to lower it, so that the seed bed is at a higher level.
  • Level the surface of the seedbed, so that the water drains into the channel.

Dry nursery

  • Dry ploughed field with fine tilth is required.
  • Nursery area with sand and loamy soil status is more suitable for this type of nursery.
  • Area 20cents.
  • Plots of 1 to 1.5 m width of beds and channels may be formed. Length may be according to the slope and soil. Raised beds are more ideal if the soil is clayey in nature.

Main Field Management 
Land preparation

  • Plough the land during summer to economize the water requirement for initial preparation of land.
  • Flood the field 1 or 2days before ploughing and allow water to soak in. Keep the surface of the field covered with water.
  • Keep water to a depth of 2.5cm at the time of puddling.
  • Special technologies for problem soils:
  • For fluffy paddy soils: compact the soil by passing 400kg stone roller or oil-drum with stones inside, eight times at proper moisture level (moisture level at friable condition of soil which is approximately 13 to18%) once in three years, to prevent the sinking of draught animals and workers during puddling.
  • For sodic soils with pH values of more than 8.5, plough at optimum moisture regime, apply gypsum at 50% gypsum requirement uniformly, impound water, provide drainage for leaching out soluble salts and apply green leaf manure at 5 t/ha, 10 to 15 days before transplanting. Mix 37.5 kg of zinc sulphate per ha with sand to make a total quantity of 75 kg and spread the mixture uniformly on the leveled field. Do not incorporate the mixture in the soil. Rice under sodic soil responds well to these practices.
  • For saline soils with EC values of more than 4 dS/m, provide lateral and main drainage channels (60cm deep and 45cm wide), apply green leaf manure at 5 t/ha at 10 to 15 days before transplanting and 25% extra dose of nitrogen in addition to recommended P and K and ZnSO 4 at 37.5 kg/ha at planting.
  • For acid soils apply lime based on the soil analysis for obtaining normal rice yields. Lime is applied 2.5 t/ha before last ploughing. Apply lime at this rate to each crop up to the 5th crop.

Tillage operation requirement for field cropsKeep water to a depth of 2.5cm at the time of puddling

SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) 
Mat nursery preparation

  • Preparation of nursery area:  Prepare 100 m2 nurseries to plant 1 ha.  Select a level area near the water source. Spread a plastic sheet or used polythene gunny bags on the shallow raised bed to prevent roots growing deep into soil.

Main field preparation

  • Puddled lowland prepared as described in transplanted section
  • Perfect leveling is a pre-requisite for the water management proposed hereunder

WET SEEDED PUDDLED LOWLAND RICE

Wet Seeded Rice

  • On receipt of showers during the months of May – July repeated ploughing should be carried out so as to conserve the moisture, destroy the weeds and break the clods.
  • After inundation puddling is to be done as per transplanting. More care should be taken to level the field to zero level.
  • Stagnation of water in patches during germination and early establishment of the crop leads to uneven crop stand.
  • Land leveling has say over efficient weed and water management practices.
  • Provision of shallow trenches (15cm width) at an interval of 3m all along the field will facilitate the draining of excess water at the early growth stage.

Tillage operation requirement for field cropsLand levelling

DRY SEEDED RAINFED UN-PUDDLED LOWLAND RICE

  • Dry plough to get fine tilth taking advantage of rains and soil moisture availability.
  • Apply gypsum at 1 t/ha basally wherever soil crusting and soil hardening problem exist.
  • Perfect land leveling for efficient weed and water management.
  • Provide shallow trenches (15 cm width) at an interval of 3m all along the field to facilitate draining excess water at the early growth stage.

 DRY SEEDED RAINFED UN-PUDDLED LOWLAND RICE WITH 
SUPPLEMENTAL IRRIGATION

    • Dry plough to get fine tilth taking advantage of rains and soil moisture availability.
    • Apply gypsum at 1 t/ha basally wherever soil crusting and soil hardening problem exist.
    • Perfect land leveling for efficient weed and water management.
    • Provide shallow trenches (15 cm width) at an interval of 3m all along the field to facilitate draining excess water at the early growth stage.
  • Pre-monsoon sowing is advocated for uniform germination.

 DRY SEEDED IRRIGATED UN-PUDDLED LOWLAND RICE

  • Dry plough to get fine tilth taking advantage of rains and soil moisture availability.
  • Apply gypsum at 1 t/ha basally wherever soil crusting and soil hardening problem exist.
  • Perfect land leveling for efficient weed and water management.
  • Provide shallow trenches (15 cm width) at an interval of 3m all along the field to facilitate draining excess water at the early growth stage.

 MILLETS 
SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolor)

Nursery Preparation 
For raising seedlings to plant one hectare, select 7.5 cents (300 m2) near a water source where water will not stagnate.

Laying The Nursery 
i.    Provide three separate units of size 2 m x 1.5 m with 30 cm space in between the plots and all around the unit for irrigation.
ii.   Excavate the soil from the inter-space and all around to a depth of 15 cm to form channels and spread the soil removed on the bed and level.

Main Field Preparation for Irrigated Crop

Ploughing 
Plough the field with an iron plough once (or) twice. Sorghum does not require fine tilth since it adversely affects germination and yield in the case of direct sown crop.

To overcome the subsoil hard pan in Alfisols (deep red soils) chiselling the field at 0.5 m intervals to a depth of 40 cm on both the directions of the field followed by disc ploughing once and cultivator ploughing twice help to increase the yield of sorghum and the succeeding blackgram also. This was true with Sorghum followed by Groundnut also.

Application of FYM and 100% of recommended N can also be followed. In soils with sub-soil hard pan, chiselling should be done every year at the start of the cropping sequence to create a favourable physical environment.

Formation of Ridges and Furrows 
i.    Form ridges and furrows using a ridger at 6 m long and 45 cm apart
ii.   Form irrigation channels across the furrows
iii.   Alternatively, form beds of size 10 m2 and 20 m2 depending on the availability of water.

Tillage operation requirement for field cropsRATOON SORGHUM CROP

RAINFED SORGHUM
Field Preparation 
Test the soil and apply fertilizers based on soil test recommendations.

  • Field has to be prepared well in advance taking advantage of early showers.  FYM application should be done @ 12.5 t / ha and well incorporated at the time of ploughing.
  • Chiseling for soils with hard pan Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5 M interval, first in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one once in three years. Apply 12.5 t FYM or composted Coir pith/ha besides chiseling to get an additional yield of about 30% over control.
  • To conserve the soil moisture sow the seeds in flat beds and form furrows between crop rows during inter cultivation or during third week after sowing.

CUMBU (Pennisetum glaucum (L) R. Br. )

Preparation of Land

  • For raising seedlings to plant one ha select 7.5 cents near a water source. Water should not stagnate.
  • Plough the land and bring it to the fine tilth.

 PREPARATION OF MAIN FIELD

Field Preparation

  • Plough with an iron plough twice and with country plough twice. Bring the soil into fine tilth.
  • CHISELING FOR SOILS WITH HARD PAN:  Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5m interval, first in one direction then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one, once in three years.

Forming Ridges and Furrows/Beds

  • Form ridges and furrows (using 3 ridges) 6 m long and 45 cm apart. If pulses is intercropped, form ridges and furrows 6 m long and 30 cm apart.
  • If ridge planting is not followed, form beds of the size 10 m2 or 30 m2 depending upon water availability.
  • Form irrigation channels.
  • To conserve soil moisture under rainfed condition, sow the seeds in flat and form furrows between crop rows during intercultivation on third week after sowing.

Tillage operation requirement for field cropsRAGI (Eleusine coracana)

IRRIGATED

Preparation of Nursery (Irrigated Transplanted Crop)

Preparation of Land

  • For raising seedlings to plant one ha of main field, select 12.5 cents (500 m2) of nursery area near a water source, where water does not stagnate.
  • Mix 37.5 kg of super phosphate with 500 kg of FYM or compost and spread the mixture evenly on the nursery area.
  • Plough two or three times with a mould board plough or five times with a country plough.

Forming Raised Bed

  • Mark units of 6 plots each of size 3 m x 1.5 m. Provide 30 cm space between plots for irrigation.
  • Excavate the soil from the interspace and all around to a depth of 15 cm to form channels and spread the soil removed from the channels on the bed and level.

Preparation of Main Field

Ploughing the Field

Plough twice with mould board plough or thrice with wooden plough till a good tilth is obtained.

Forming Beds and Channels

  • Form beds of size 10 m2 to 20 m2 according to topography of the field.
  • Provide suitable irrigation channels.

RAGI : RAINFED

Tillage
            Fall ploughing is advantageous for moisture conservation. In the month of April or May, one deep ploughing with mould board plough followed by ploughing with wooden plough twice is necessary. Before sowing secondary tillage with cultivator and multiple tooth hoe to prepare smooth seed bed is necessary.

MAIZE (Zea mays L.)

IRRIGATED MAIZE

Field Preparation

Plough the field with disc plough once followed by cultivator ploughing twice, after spreading FYM or compost till a fine tilth is obtained.

Forming Ridges and Furrows or Beds

  • Form ridges and furrows providing sufficient irrigation channels. The ridges should be       6 m long and 60 cm apart.
  • If ridges and furrows are not made, form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2 depending on the availability of water.
  • Use a bund former or ridge plough to economise cost of production.

Tillage operation requirement for field cropsRAINFED MAIZE

Field Preparation

Chisel the soil having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5 M interval first in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one once in three years. Apply 12.5 t/ha of FYM or compost or composted coir pith besides chiselling, to get an additional yield of about 30% over control.
 
SMALL MILLETS

Tenai

Field preparation

:

Plough the field thoroughly using a small iron
plough or country plough to fine tilth.

Samai

Field preparation

:

Plough the field thoroughly 2 or 3 times using a small iron plough or country plough to fine tilth.

Varagu

Field preparation

:

Plough the field thoroughly using a small iron plough or country plough to fine tilth.

 WHEAT (Triticum aestivum.)

Field Preparation

Plough twice with an iron plough and two to three times with cultivator and prepare the land to a fine tilth.

Forming Beds and Channel

Form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2. The irrigation channels are to be provided sufficiently. 

PULSES

REDGRAM ( Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. )

Management of Field Operation

Preparation of the Land

Prepare the land to fine tilth and apply 12.5 t FYM/ha or composted coir pith at the time of last ploughing and form ridges and furrows

BLACKGRAM ( Vigna mungo L.)

 

Prepare the land to fine tilth and form beds and channels.

 GREENGRAM ( Vigna radiata L. )     

  • Prepare the land to get fine tilth and form beds and channels.
  • Amendments for soil surface crusting: To tide over the soil surface crusting apply lime at the rate of 2 t/ha along with FYM at 12.5 t/ha or composted coir pith at 12.5 t/ha to get an additional yield of about 15 – 20%.

COWPEA ( Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.aggreg.)

Prepare the land to fine tilth and form beds and channels.

HORSEGRAM ( Macrotyloma uniflorum )

Prepare the land to a fine tilth.

BENGALGRAM ( Cicer arietinum L.)

Prepare the land to fine tilth and apply  12.5 t FYM/ha

GARDEN LAB LAB (AVARAI) 
(Lab lab purpureus (L.)  var. typicus. )

      Prepare the land to fine tilth. Form beds and channels for bushy types.

FIELD LAB-LAB (MOCHAI)
Lab lab purpureus (L.)  var. lignosus )

Management of Field Operations

     Prepare the land to fine tilth.

SOYBEAN ( Glycine max (L.) Merr.)

Management of Field Operations

     Prepare the land to get fine tilth and form beds and channels.

RAINFED SOYABEAN

If herbicide spray is not given, two hand weeding on 20 and 35th day after sowing.

SWORD BEAN ( Canavalia gladiata L.)

OILSEEDS

GROUNDNUT (Arachis hypogaea )

 I. Rainfed 
Field Preparation

  • Plough with tractor using a disc followed by harrow, once or twice with iron plough or
    3 – 4 times with country plough till all the clods are broken and a fine tilth is obtained.
  • Chiselling for soils with hard pan: Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depth with chisel plough first at 0.5 m interval in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one, once in three years. Apply 12.5 t/ha of FYM or composted coir pith besides chiselling.
  • Amendments for soil surface crusting:  a) To tide over the surface crusting, apply lime @ 2 t/ha along with FYM or composted coir pith @ 12.5 t/ha. b) Coir pith at 12.5 t/ha  converted to compost by inoculating with Pleurotus and applied serves as a good source of nutrients.

Forming Beds

  • Form beds of size 10 m2 to 20 m2 depending upon the slope of the land and type of soil.
  •  Wherever tractor is engaged, bed former may be used.

Earthing Up

Accomplish earthing up during second hand weeding/late hand weeding (in herbicide application).
NOTE:

  • Earthing up provides medium for the peg development
  • Use the improved hoe with long handle which can be worked more efficiently in a standing position.
  • Do not disturb the soil after 45th day of sowing as it will affect pod formation adversely.

Irrigated 
Field Preparation

  • Plough with tractor using a disc followed by harrow, once or twice with iron plough or
    3 – 4 times with country plough till all the clods are broken and a fine tilth is obtained.
  • Chiselling for soils with hard pan: Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depth with chisel plough first at 0.5 m interval in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one, once in three years. Apply 12.5 t/ha FYM or composted coir pith besides chiselling.
  • Amendments for soil surface crusting:  a) To tide over the surface crusting, apply lime @ 2 t/ha along with FYM or composted coir pith @ 12.5 t/ha. b) When coir pith at 12.5 t/ha is converted into compost by inoculating with Pleurotus and applied, it serves as a good source of nutrient.

Forming Beds

  • Form beds of size 10 m2 to 20 m2 depending upon the availability of water, slope of the land and type of soil.
  •  Wherever tractor is engaged, bed former may be used.

Earthing up:

Accomplish earthing up during second hand weeding/late hand weeding (in herbicide application).

NOTE: i) Earthing up provides medium for the peg development.  ii) Use the improved hoe with long handle which can be worked more efficiently in a standing position. iii) Do not disturb the soil after the 45th day of sowing as it will affect pod formation adversely.

SESAME (Sesamum indicum)

Field Preparation

  • Plough the field with tractor twice or with mould board plough thrice or five times with a country plough.
  • Break the clods in between ploughings and bring the soil to a fine tilth to facilitate quick germination as the seeds are small.
  • Chiselling for soils with hard pan: Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depth with chisel plough first at 0.5 m interval in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one once in three years. Apply 12.5t FYM/composted coir pith besides chiselling.
  • For irrigated gingelly, form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2 depending upon the availability, inflow of water and slope of the land. Level the beds perfectly without any depressions to prevent water stagnation, which will affect the germination adversely.
  • In rice fallows, field is ploughed once with optimum moisture, seeds are sown immediately and covered with one more ploughing.

CASTOR (Ricinus communis)

Preparation of the Field 

Plough two-three times with country or mould board plough.

SAFFLOWER (Carthamus tinctorius)

Preparation of the Field
Field Preparation

  • Plough with tractor 2-3 times with a mould board plough or 5 times with a country plough.
  • Break the clods in between the ploughings and bring the soil to a fine tilth.

SUNFLOWER ( Helianthus annuus )

Field Preparation

Plough once with tractor or twice with iron-plough or three to four times with country-plough till all the clods are broken and a fine tilth is obtained.

Forming Ridges and Furrows

  • Form ridges and furrows 6 m long.
  • Use bund-former or ridge plough to economise and
  • Form irrigation channels across and ridges according to the topography of the field.

OILPALM

NIGER (Guizotia abyssinica)

Preparation of the Field

Field Preparation

  • Plough with tractor 2-3 times with a mould board plough or 5 times with a country plough.
  • Break the clods in between the ploughings and bring the soil to a fine tilth.

COTTON

Preparation of Field for Irrigated Cotton Crop

Preparation of The Field

  • Prepare the field to get a fine tilth.
  • Chiselling for soils with hard pan: Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5 M interval, first in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one, once in three years. Apply 12.5 t farm yard manure or composted coir pith/ha besides chiselling to get increased yield
  • If intercropping of Greengram/Soyabean is proposed, prepare the main field, so as to provide ridges and furrows to take up sowing 20 days prior to cotton sowing.

Formation of Ridges and Furrows

  • Form ridges and furrows 10 m long with appropriate spacing depending upon the variety.
  • Use ridge plough or bund former to form ridges so as to economise on cost of cultivation.
  • In fields with ragi stubbles, just dibble cotton seeds at the specified spacings.
  • Adopt the following spacing between ridges for different varieties/hybrids.

Rectification of Ridges and Furrows

Reform the ridges and furrows after first top dressing in such a way that the plants are on the top of the ridges and well supported by soil.

RICE FALLOW COTTON

Preparation of the Field

  • If the soil is in waxy condition, instead of Zero tillage, the seed rows may be tilled and the seed dibbled in Virudhunagar district.
  • If the soil is dry and not in condition to take up sowing, let in water and then allow the soil to dry till soil comes to waxy condition.
  • At the lower level of the field dig a trench 15 cm wide and connect this trench to the outside channel to drain off the excess water.

Formation of Ridges

Old delta

  • If soil is in condition, give a hoeing with mammutti and form ridges and incorporate the fertilizer in the soil around the plants between 30th to 35th day of sowing.
  • If soil is not in condition, give one hoeing and weeding and cover the fertilizers.
  • Form long ridges and furrows from one end of the field to the other without forming any separate channels for carrying water to prevent excessive soaking of water.
  • Form ridges and furrows on alternate rows of plants. Skip furrow method of irrigation to prevent excessive irrigation

New delta

  • Give a hoeing with mummutti and form ridges and incorporate the fertiliser in the soil around the plants on the 40th day of sowing.
  • If soil is not in condition give one hoeing and weeding and cover the fertilizers.
  • Form long ridges & furrows on alternate rows of plants to adopt skip furrow  irrigation.

Note: In case of zinc deficient soils, apply  50 kg ZnSo4 /ha 

RAINFED COTTON

Preparation of The Field

  • Start preparation of the land immediately after harvest of the previous crop.

Adopt permanent broad ridges system.

JUTE ( Corchorus olitorius & Corchorus capsularis )

Land Preparation: Fine tilth is required since the seeds are very small.

AGAVE – CULTIVATION


Main field planting: Pits of size 30 cm3  should be dug at spacing of  2 x 2 m.


SUGARCANE (Saccharum officinarum )

Preparation of the Field

a) Wetland (Heavy soils): In wetlands, preparatory cultivation by ploughing the land and bringing the soil to fine tilth could not be done.

  • After harvest of the paddy crop, form irrigation and drainage channels of 40 cm depth and 30 cm width at intervals of 6 m across the field and along the field borders.
  • Form ridges and furrows with a spacing of 80 cm between rows with spade.
  • Stir the furrows with hand hoes and allow the soil to weather for 4 to 5 days.

b) Problem soils with excessive soil moisture: 

In problem soils, with excessive moisture where it is difficult to drain water, form raised beds at 30 cm intervals with Length – 5 m, Width – 80 cm, and Height -15 cm.

  • Garden lands with medium and light soils:

 In medium and light soil irrigated by flow or lift irrigation adopt the following:

  • Plough deep with tractor drawn disc plough or victory plough. Use junior hoe to break the clods and get a fine tilth free of weeds and stubbles.
  • Level the field for proper irrigation.
  • Open ridges and furrows at 80 cm apart with the help of victory plough or tractor drawn ridger. The depth of furrow must be 20 cm.
  • Open irrigation channels at 10 m intervals.

Earthing Up

After application of 3rd dose fertilizer (90 days), work victory plough along the ridges for efficient and economical earthing up. At 150 days after planting, earthing up may be done with spade.

SWEET SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolor)

Farm Land Preparation

Form ridges and furrows at a spacing of 45 cm apart

TROPICAL SUGARBEET

Field preparation 

Well drained sandy loam and clayey loam soils having medium depth (45” cm) with fairly good organic status are suitable. Tropical sugarbeet require deep ploughing (45 cm) and followed by 2 – 3 ploughing to obtain a good soil tilth condition for favorable seed germination.  Ridges and furrows are formed at 50 cm apart.

FORAGE CROPS

FODDER CHOLAM

IRRIGATED CHOLAM

Ploughing 

Plough with an iron plough once and with a country plough twice.

Forming Ridges and Furrows

Form ridges and furrows of 6 m long and 60 cm apart and plant on either side of the ridge

FODDER CUMBU

Preparatory Cultivation

Plough with an iron plough once and with a country plough twice.

FODDER MAIZE

Ploughing 

Plough the field twice with an iron plough and three or four times with country plough.

Forming Ridges and Furrows

Form ridges and furrows using a ridger, 30 cm apart are form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2 depending on the availability of water and slope of the land.

NEELAKOLUKATTAI (BLUE BUFFEL GRASS) – (Cenchrus glaucus 

Ploughing

Plough the field twice or thrice with an iron plough to ensure good tilth.

GUINEA GRASS (Panicum maximum)

Preparatory Cultivation

Plough 2 to 3 times to obtain a good tilth and form ridges and furrows at 50 cm spacing. 

DEENANATH GRASS (Pennisetum pedicellatum)

Preparatory Cultivation

Plough 2-3 times to obtain good tilth and form beds and channels.

CUMBU – NAPIER HYBRIDS

Ploughing

Plough with an iron plough two to three times to obtain good tilth.

LUCERNE – KUDIRAI MASAL (Medicago sativa)

Ploughing

Plough three or four times with country plough to obtain good tilth.

Forming Beds

Form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2 depending on the availability of water and slope of land.

HEDGE LUCERNE – VELIMASAL ( Desmanthus virgatus )

Ploughing 

Plough two to three times with an iron plough to obtain good tilth.

Forming Ridges and Furrows

Form ridges and furrows 50 cm apart using ridger and irrigation channels across furrows.

FODDER COWPEA

Ploughing
            Plough twice with an iron plough and three or four times with country plough to obtain good tilth.

Forming Ridges and Furrows

  • Form ridges and furrows of  6 m length and 30 cm apart.
  • If ridges and furrows are not made, form beds of size 20 m2 depending on the availability of  water

Preparatory Cultivation

Ploughing

Plough the field two to three times to obtain good tilth.

Forming Beds

Form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2

LEUCAENA – SOUNDAL ( Leucaena leucocephala )

Ploughing 

Plough twice with an iron plough and 3 or 4 times with country plough to obtain good tilth.

Forming Ridges and Furrows 

Form ridges and furrows (using a ridger) 6 m along and 1 m apart and irrigation channels across the furrows.

 

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