While striving to meet global food demands, farmers give their best in order to achieve higher yields and bring more food to our tables. It can be difficult to determine which part of crop production is the most important and where to put additional efforts.
However, sowing is crucial as it marks the beginning of a crop life cycle. Along with that, it's extremely important to manage it properly from the beginning. Since all farm activities affect the final crop results, good preparation for each farm practice produces additional benefits for farmers. In this regard, quality pre-sowing soil preparation is essential for successful crop growth.
Pre-sowing plowing is a soil management practice that is in charge of soil preparation for a new crop. This is the final preparation stage before the sowing. The main purpose of pre-sowing plowing is to meet the requirements of crop seeds as soon as possible. In an attempt to meet those requirements, this practice strives to produce a more uniform and quality seed germination process, which will positively affect crop growth and development.
There are a few advantages to this soil preparation practice. These include:
- Creating straight, grained, structural and moist sowing layer
- By loosening the soil, pre-sowing plowing provides adequate air in the sowing layer
- Resolving problems with weeds without the use of chemicals
- Creating quality sowing layer.
How to Manage Pre-Sowing Plowing
Pre-sowing plowing may be managed differently, depending on different soil properties, agroclimatic conditions, and farmer preference. The average depth of pre-sowing tillage varies between 10-30 cm (4-12 in). However, it's recommended to reduce the depth of pre-sowing tillage. By reducing the plowing depth, a farmer reduces energy costs and benefits the quality of crop growth.
Along with pre-sowing plowing, a farmer can add fertilizers in order to fulfill crop nutrient reqirements. Furthermore, an additional tip for successful plowing is to avoid soil tillage if the soil is too moist or too dry. Plowing in favorable moisture conditions will protect the soil structure significantly.
Finally, whenever possible, reducing the burden of the soil with the use of heavy machinery is recommended. In doing so, farmers will be able to increasingly rely on reduced tillage or even no-till farm practices entirely. In deciding on a soil preparation management system, farmers tend to combine 1 or 2 practices. For example, some farmers use very shallow plowing and skip shallow plowing. Others that skip stubble cultivation usually manage shallow plowing and pre-sowing plowing.
Either way, it's up to the farmer to choose the direction that he wants to take with his farm management. However, successful sowing starts with well-prepared soil. Make sure that the sowing layer is ready for new crops by practicing pre-sowing plowing.
Image sources: Kverneland BE