Agriculture Corner

On-season and Off-Season Tillage


An outline about tillage is given in Introduction to Soil Tillage and further, Objectives of Tillage were presented in previous article. This article deals with the two categories of tillage based on the ‘time of requirement’ or seasonal requirement. These are;

  1. On Season Tillage
  2. Off-Season Tillage

1. On-Season Tillage

On-Season tillage is carried out for raising the crops in the same season.  In other words, this type of tillage is done at the beginning of the crop season. On season tillage may be regarded as the tillage carried out for preparatory cultivation and after cultivation.

     Preparatory Tillage

This tillage is carried out before sowing the crop so that beds can be prepared for cultivation of crop. The objective is to open the soil deeply, loose the hard soil rocks, aeration, remove weeds and larvae of pests to achieve the desirable tilth. It has further two types that are primary tillage and secondary tillage.

Primary Tillage

The tillage that is performed after harvesting the crop to bring the necessary changes in the soil condition for making land fit for cultivation for next crop is called as primary tillage or ploughing. In primary tillage, the compact soil is opened. This is done with the help of various kinds of agricultural engineering tools like Mold Board Plough, Tractor, Power Tiller, Bose Plough or Country Plough.

Secondary Tillage

Secondary tillage is performed to bring a good soil tilth after the primary tillage. In Secondary Tillage, finer or light sort of operation are carried out such as cleaning the soil, breaking the soil clods and incorporation of fertilizer or manure in the soil. Planking and Harrowing are conducted for Secondary Tillage operations.

     After Cultivation

After cultivation type of tillage is carried out when the crop is in standing position i.e. after the sowing or planting the crop. This means, this tillage is performed before harvesting the crop. This is also called Inter-Cultivation.  Tillage operations carried out in this type of tillage are weeding, hoeing, drilling, earthing up or side dressing of fertilizer. Weeders, Spade and Hoe are used in after cultivation tillage.

2. Off-Season Tillage

Conditioning of soil is called as off-season tillage. The purpose is to condition the soil suitably for the forthcoming main season crop. Post-Harvest Tillage, Winter or Summer Tillage and Fallow Tillage are various off-season tillage operations.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, February 10). On-Season and Off-Season Tillage[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Objectives of Tillage


Tillage is the mechanical manipulation of soil to prepare it for crop cultivation by creating a favorable enabling environment for proper plant growth. It is carried our both by manually and mechanically. This is discussed in An Introduction to Soil Tillage. This article is going to highlight objectives of tillage .

Objectives of Tillage

  1. To prepare and organize the seedbeds in the field to a satisfactory level that can support not only the optimum germination of the seedlings but also aid in proper establishment of the plant.
  2. To control weeds in such a way that nutrients are absorb efficiently and effectively by the plants. This is also carried out to support a close plant-soil interaction within the rooting zone for proper nourishment of crop plants.
  3. To enhance the physical condition of soil.
  4. To break the hard pans of soil so that soil nutrients are readily available to crop plants.
  5. To manage the crop plant remains by incorporating them into the soil. The plant residues can also be retained on the top layer. This promises a reduction in soil erosion problem.
  6. To prepare soil for absorbing the rain water efficiently.
  7. To integrate and mix the fertilizers applied into the soil so that they are readily available to the crop plants.
  8. To form specific surface configurations for the purpose of sowing, irrigation, drainage, pesticide and fertilizer application etc.
  9. To destroy the eggs of crop pests and larvae of insects. This aids in destroying the breeding places of these pests.
  10. To accelerate the process of drying and warming of soil and exclusion of toxic gases.
  11. To facilitate and minimize the irrigation water usage in the crop fields.
  12. To increase the aeration in the soil

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[box type=”note” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, February 07). Objectives of Tillage [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

An Introduction to Soil Tillage


Field operations are carried out to increase the productivity of soul. Soil tillage is one of those operations. It is one of the most researched topics in agriculture sciences due to its direct impact on crop productivity and soil condition. Jethro Tull is regarded as the father of soil tillage who introduced it during the 18th century. It was considered as an art. However, in recent years, tillage is now being focused as a science on the basis of research evidences. Before going deep in this topic, let us see what soil tillage is.

Soil tillage is the cultivation or preparation of soil for cultivation of crops in a productive soil environment. It is carried out by mechanical manipulation of soil such as overturning the soil, or stirring the soil or simply digging. The aim of tillage is to provide favorable growth conditions of soil to the crops. Soil tillage includes all the types of operations that are practiced for the purpose of modifying the physical character of soil.

In field crop production, it is not wrong to claim that soil tillage is the most time consuming and difficult task to perform. In addition to that, it also consumes large share in farmer’s budget.

Reason of Soil Tillage

The reason of soil tillage is to break the large sized soil particles into finer ones so that readily available nutrients can reach to the crop roots. Moreover, after tillage, surface area of soil is increased that allow good root growth in crops.

It is an interesting fact that tillage operations for soil preparations vary from place to place and even in some cases, in the same area, different tillage operations are carried out. This depends upon the climate of cultivated crops, soil condition etc. A lot of effort is required to turn a virgin piece of land into good seedbed, and tillage operations help in achieving that goal.

Types of Tillage

There are three of types of soil tillage in practice.

  1. Conventional Tillage
  2. Conservation Tillage
  3. No Till

Conventional Tillage

It is the simplest and oldest form of soil tillage in which farmers untie the soil by simply turning it over. This can be done both manually and mechanically. By manually, it is carried out with hoes and mechanically, it is done with a disc or plough. This type of tillage has few drawbacks. One of the most important is exposure of soil to air and water erosion.

Conservation Tillage

It is a method of soil cultivation in which the crop residue of previous year crop is left on the fields before and after planting the next crop. The aim of conservation tillage is to reduce soil erosion and water erosion in the form of runoff.  

No Till

No till is also called as zero tillage technique. As the name clearly shows that in this type of tillage, soil disturbance is avoided that is created with the tools such as chisel plows, field cultivators, plow and disk. In addition to this, soil cover is maintained in order to prevent erosion and loss of soil moisture.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, February 06). An Introduction to Soil Tillage [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]