Perform primary tillage operations
Primary tillage is normally undertaken when the soil is wet enough to allow the field to be plowed and strong enough to give reasonable levels of traction. This can be immediately after harvest or at the beginning of the next season, depending on soil moisture and water availability.
- Plow the field.
Power: 4-wheel tractor / 2-wheel tractor / animal power
Attachments: moldboard plow / disc plow / rotavator
Make the first pass along the edges of the field in a clockwise pattern. For the second pass, move counterclockwise and finish at the center.
Read: What are the different plowing patterns? (Training resource)
The soil should be plowed to attain a reasonable depth (10−20 cm of cultivated soil) with varying clod sizes, and to kill weeds by burying or exposing the roots.
Depending on the clod size, another tillage operation can be done using primary tillage implements. Additional primary tillage operations are generally done with disc plow or rotavator.
What is rotary tilling?
Primary tillage may also be done through rotary tilling. A power tiller or tractor-mounted rotary tiller is used in this operation.
Tiller blades or knives completely cut and mix the soil. They also break up and shred plant stubble or weeds, speeding up the decay of plant materials.
Rotary tilling can be done during primary and/or secondary tillage of soil.