Soil is the backbone of agriculture and should be best suited for growing different crops and producing better yields. Because no soil is perfect, soil preparation is required both before and after cultivation.
Agricultural soil is described as loamy, productive soil because there are numerous different types of soil and some are not suitable for use in agriculture. Good soil for agriculture should have the following characteristics.
- Good consistency (texture).
- Proper aeration.
- Good water holding capacity.
- Balanced acid and alkaline contents.
- Rich in macro and micro nutrients.
Soil fertility may be lost due to ongoing farming and so soil content needs to be replenished before seed sowing. Soil preparation in agriculture consists of three steps: ploughing, leveling, and manuring.
This stage involves loosening and digging the soil. When the soil is loosened during ploughing, the aeration of the soil is improved, allowing roots to enter the soil more and breathe. The development of earthworms and microorganisms depends on the loosened soil. Additionally, ploughs raise the nutrient-rich soil to the surface. For this purpose, iron or wooden ploughs are utilized. A tractor or a bullock is used to draw this plough. Another instrument for removing weeds and loose dirt is a hoe.
Ploughing is necessary because it:
- Allows plant roots to penetrate deep into the soil.
- Strengthens the plant by providing better ventilation to the roots.
- Helps the growth of microbes and insects which work in digestion and add nutrients and humus to the soil.
- Ploughing removes bushes and waste from the field.
- It raises nutrients -rich soil which helps plants grow.
By leveling, dirt and water are distributed evenly, preventing logging. After ploughing, the dirt is leveled using a wooden or iron board. Additionally, leveling aids in water distribution during irrigation without logging. This process helps in the uniform distribution of water.
Manure is used in later farming stages after leveling and ploughing. Manuring is done to add nutrients back to the soil, which aids in the crop’s appropriate growth.
An agricultural field is made productive and ready for farming through soil preparation. Farmers can produce a superior product by eliminating weeds on a regular basis.
It is therefore crucial to invest in soil preparation before planting begins so as to ensure that nutrients are retained and regained for the farming season.