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  1. 1. Tillage Chapter #10
  2. 2. What is Tillage? q the practice of keeping the soil mellow (soft) and free from weeds mechanically (physically) q can be seedbed preparation or postemergence cultivation
  3. 3. What are the purposes of tillage? q 1) develop soil tilth (physical condition of the soil) q 2) kill weeds q 3) manage crop residue
  4. 4. What is a seedbed? q place where seeds germinate & nourish young plants q must be firm to allow seed to come in contact with soil particles to absorb moisture q must be pourous to allow air to move, root development, water movement q water will not easily penetrate hard soil to get to roots
  5. 5. Seedbed Characteristics q if soil is too loose, rain will wash away young plants q some soils have excess water q oxygen is needed by roots q air and water conduct heat more rapidly than soil, looser soils warm up sooner q plant residue on surface insulates, warms up slower, also provides buffer against wind
  6. 6. What is Soil Tilth? q The physical condition of the soil q fitness for cultivation
  7. 7. How is good soil tilth developed? q till at proper time to maintain proper aggregation q too wet during tillage makes soil lumpy, too dry during tillage makes soil too fine and likely to blow q over tillage will destroy soil structure and lead to soil compaction
  8. 8. What is the definition of a weed? q a plant that grows out of place q -tillage can cut roots or bury weeds
  9. 9. Is crop residue a benefit or detriment? q definitely a benefit q helps control erosion, retain water, improve tilth
  10. 10. What is primary tillage? q the first tillage operation of a season q loosen soil to permit air and water to penetrate q dark soils absorb light, warm up quicker q residue insulates, warms slower q in wet areas soil is plowed q in dry areas leave residue
  11. 11. What are the types of tillage equipment? • Moldboard Plow: inverts soil, turns residue under soil surface
  12. 12. Disk Plow q rolling disks, similar to moldboard plow, better in sticky soils
  13. 13. One-Way Disk Plow q for dry soils, leaves more residue on soil surface than moldboard and disk plow
  14. 14. What is summerfallow? q tilling uncropped land in summer q primary tillage is deepest, rest shallower q leave residue
  15. 15. Chisel Plow q does not invert soil, uses chisels or sweeps that shatter the soil q leaves residue on surface
  16. 16. What is Hardpan? q compacted soil layer below the soil surface q created by continuous tillage at the same depth
  17. 17. How can hardpan be corrected? q use a subsoiler
  18. 18. Disk Harrow q similar to disk plow except smaller discs, tandem. cuts residue, but leaves on surface
  19. 19. What is secondary tillage? q all tillage operations after primary q till at shallower depth
  20. 20. Spike-Tooth Harrow q steel spikes that break soil crust, uproot small weeds
  21. 21. Rod Weeder q rod turns as it is pulled beneath the soil q rod turns opposite direction as wheels, lifts weeds and coarse material to surface q packs seedbed
  22. 22. Rotary Hoe q hoe wheels on long shaft dig into soil (shallow) q usually mounted on tractor for row crops
  23. 23. What is minimum tillage? q delay primary tillage until seeding
  24. 24. What are the benefits of minimum tillage? 1) soil surface is left covered residue (conserve moisture) 2) redidue protects soil from erosion 3) reduced costs (fewer operations) 4) soil tilth improved (less compaction) q -Weeds are controlled with chemicals
  25. 25. What is stripcropping? q alternating summerfallow and cropped fields
  26. 26. What is contour tillage? q strip cropping so that fields are all at the same elevation (along hills) q slows water runoff
  27. 27. What is Terracing? q earth structure built across the slope to hold water