Tillage is the agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shovelling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking. Examples of draft-animal-powered or mechanized work include ploughing (overturning with moldboards or chiseling with chisel shanks), rototilling, rolling with cultipackers or other rollers, harrowing, and cultivating with cultivator shanks (teeth). Small-scale gardening and farming, for household food production or small business production, tends to use the smaller-scale methods above, whereas medium- to large-scale farming tends to use the larger-scale methods. There is a fluid continuum, however. Any type of gardening or farming, but especially larger-scale commercial types, may also use low-till or no-till methods as well.
Tillage is often classified into two types, primary and secondary. There is no strict boundary between them so much as a loose distinction between tillage that is deeper and more thorough (primary) and tillage that is shallower and sometimes more selective of location (secondary). Primary tillage such as ploughing tends to produce a rough surface finish, whereas secondary tillage tends to produce a smoother surface finish, such as that required to make a good seedbed for many crops. Harrowing and rototilling often combine primary and secondary tillage into one operation.
"Tillage" can also mean the land that is tilled. The word "cultivation" has several senses that overlap substantially with those of "tillage". In a general context, both can refer to agriculture generally. Within agriculture, both can refer to any of the kinds of soil agitation described above. Additionally, "cultivation" or "cultivating" may refer to an even narrower sense of shallow, selective secondary tillage of row crop fields that kills weeds while sparing the crop plants.
Other articles related to "tillage":
... Seedbed preparation in farm fields often involves secondary tillage via harrows and cultivators ... This may follow primary tillage (if any) by moldboard plows or chisel plows ... No-till farming methods avoid tillage for seedbed preparation as well as later weed control ...
... Modern agricultural science has greatly reduced the use of tillage ... Crops can be grown for several years without any tillage through the use of herbicides to control weeds, crop varieties that tolerate packed soil, and equipment that can plant seeds or ... farming in polyculture that would eliminate the need for both tillage and pesticides, such as no-dig gardening ...
... Tillage is defined in farming as the disturbance of soil in preparation for a crop ... Tillage is usually done to warm the seed bed up, to help dry the seed bed out, to break up disease, and to reduce early weed pressure ... Tillage prior to planting adds cost per acre farmed and has not been shown to increase soybean yields significantly ...
... is a conservation system that uses a minimum tillage ... the soil drying and warming benefits of conventional tillage with the soil-protecting advantages of no-till by disturbing only the portion of the soil that is to contain the seed row ... This type of tillage is performed with special equipment and can require the farmer to make multiple trips, depending on the strip-till implement used, and field conditions ...
... In agriculture mulch tillage or mulch-till fall under the umbrella term of conservation tillage in the United States and refer to seeding methods where ...
Famous quotes containing the word tillage:
“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”
—Daniel Webster (17821852)
“Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrants hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green;
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain;”
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730?1774)