The soil is the backbone of agriculture. Hence, it is essential to know about soil before farming. Soils are of a variety of types, some are loamy and fertile while some are sandy and infertile. Every type of soil is not suitable for every crop. The crop grown in a fertile soil will not necessarily give yield; because for a better quality yield preparation of the soil is essential. Let’s see properties and types of soil and methods to prepare the soil.
Soil formation is the combined result of physical, chemical and biological processes under certain environmental conditions. The soil is a combination of biotic and abiotic components. It contains microorganisms, worms, minerals, decaying organic matters, hummus, elements like water and air which altogether make soil fertile and source of nutrients. The soil is mainly of three types: sandy soil, clayey soil, and loamy soil. Among this loamy soil is more suitable for farming. An ideal soil for agriculture has following characteristics:
- Good water holding capacity
- Properly aerated
- Good consistency (texture)
- Balanced acid and alkaline content
- Rich in nutrients (micro and macronutrients)
Soil for Agriculture
No soil is ideal hence it necessitates preparation of soil before and after the cultivation. Soil fertility may be lost due to continuous farming; for replenishment of soil contents, it is prepared prior to sowing of seeds. In agriculture, ploughing, leveling, and manuring are the three steps of soil preparation.
Ploughing includes loosening and digging of soil. During ploughing, the soil becomes loose and the nutrients in deep soil come to the top. Also, aeration of soil will increase thus air is available for breathing and roots are easily penetrated between soil. Other purposes of plowing are the integration of manure, uprooting of weeds, removal of infectious pathogens, insects etc. Ploughs of wood or iron are used for this purpose. Bullocks or tractors are used to pull this plow. Hoe is another tool used to uproot weeds and to loose soil.
Leveling helps in even distribution and soil is leveled after ploughing. A plank of wood or iron is used for this. Leveling also helps in water distribution without logging during irrigation.
After ploughing and leveling, manure is applied to further stages of farming. Manuring is done to replenish the soil with nutrients and thus helps in proper growth of the crop.
Soil preparation gives agriculture field which is fertile containing ideal soil and makes it ready for farming. Manuring and removal of weeds at a regular interval and frequency help farmers to yield a better product.
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