This ultimate guide on tillage will guide you in understanding definition, types and their importance. It is an important farm activity that is required for growing and raising crop in the field.

Farmers own a piece of land in which he or she raises crop in every season. Or he can also use a waste land for farming. Now imagine could he start farming directly on the same land again and again?

After every harvest there will be crop residues, soil clods, insects, pests, and compaction in soil due to roots. So to raise crops for the next season farmer must have to do something to create favourable condition in the soil for crop growth. There comes the importance of tillage.

What Is Tillage?

We can define it as the physical manipulation of the soil to create favourable conditions for the growth of crops. Hence by practicing tillage we create good aeration and water absorbing capacity in the soil. Moreover we also destroy pest by eliminating their habitat.


It helps in obtaining deep seed bed which is suitable for variety of crops.

We can add more humus and fertility to the soil by covering the vegetation.

It helps in destroying and preventing weeds.

We can create scope for good aeration in the soil for crop growth.
It helps in increasing the water-absorbing capacity of the ground soil.
We can easily destroy breeding places of insect and pests in the soil.

Moreover it also helps in reducing soil erosion.

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We can classify tillage into two categories:

Primary Tillage

The initial major soil working operation after harvesting is primary practice. We practice it to reduce soil strength, vegetative cover materials and rearrange aggregates.

Generally we can say that the operations practiced to open up any cultivable land with a view to set up or organize a seed bed for growing crops is called as primary tillage.

We can use animal drawn implements such as indigenous plough and mould-board plough.

Or we can also use tractor drawn implements such as mould-board plough, disc plough, subsoil plough, chisel plough and other similar implements.

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Harrowing Of Field, Image by Kurt Bouda from Pixabay

Secondary Tillage

Tillage operations that we practice after primary tillage to create proper soil tilth for seed sowing and planting are secondary tillage. They are lighter and finer operations, that we perform on the soil after primary operations.

In this operation we condition the soil to satisfy the various tillage objectives of the farm. We can use implements such as differing types of harrow, cultivators, levellers, clod crushers etc.

Types Of Tillage

Minimum: Minimum soil manipulation for crop production.

Strip: In this operation only isolated bands of soil are tilled.

Rotary: It is the tillage operations that employ rotary action to cut, break and mix the soil.

Mulch: It is that the preparations of soil in such condition so that plant residues or other mulching materials are specially left the surface. This helps to maintain adequate moisture required for crop growth and development.

Combined: When we use two or more differing types of tillage tools or implements to simplify, control or reduce the number of operations over a field are called combined tillage.

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