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CULTURAL PRACTICES

    Planting operations are the operations carried out before planting while planting is the sowing of seeds and  post-posting operations include thinning, supplying, irrigation, manuring, mulching and weeding. 

    PRE-PLANTING OPERATIONS

    1. Land clearing: this is the removal of pre-existing vegetation on the farm land. It is carried out by cutting the vegetation and grasses with cutlasses or hoes, and trees fell with axes. It can also be done mechanically with the aid of bulldozers and tree pullers.
    2. Stumping: This is the removal of stumps by digging them out manually using cutlasses and axes. It can also be done mechanically by using bulldozer. Stumps are the left over cut trees on the farm left on the soil surface.
    3. Farm layout: Farm layout is a judicious way of using the farmland where the plots are

    divided into sections and each section is used to give maximum yield.

    1. Land preparation: this is ensuring the soil is put in the best condition and state suited to the crop needs. The process of preparing the soil involves carring out tillage, making beds, making heaps, making ridges, leveling soil after stumping etc.

    Tillage is the breaking or turning of the soil with a simple tool or farm machine after the land has been cleared in preparation for planting crops. It can bedone manually with a hoe or mechanically with a tractor – driven plough.

    Ploughing is cutting through the soil and making it into lumps or clods of soil. It is called primary tillage. While secondary tillage (harrowing) is the use of harrow to break down the large clods of soil into fine particles and making it ready for ridging. Other implements used in carrying out tillage are spring tine cultivator, mould board plough etc.

    Importance of tillage

    1. It loosens the soil and allows air and water to reach the roots of plants.
    2. It allows easy penetration of roots into the soil
    3. Plant nutrients are brought to the reach of the plant root
    4. Tillage helps to destroy pest by exposing them to the sun
    5. It ensures proper mixture of manure and fertilizer with the soil

    Ridging involves the making of ridges on the farm, sometimes heaps are also made to serve the purpose of ridges on slopes ridges are made across, with the ridges made at intervals to check erosion, ridges also help to provide water for plant use and aids root penetration and establishment of crops. 

    EVALUATION

    1. What is land clearing?
    2. Define stumping.
    3. Define tillage and state three importance of tillage.
    4. What is ridging?
    5. Differentiate between primary and secondary tillage. 

    PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION

    1. Clear the school farm using cutlass and till the land
    2. Do the layout.
    3. Make ten ridges in preparation for maize cultivation.
    4. State three importance of tillage
    5. Differentiate between primary and secondary tillage.

    See also

    PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF CROP PESTS

    PESTS OF CROPS | MEANING, TYPES, CLASSIFICATION, IMPORTANT

    DISEASES OF CROPS | MEANING, CAUSES, EFFECTS, CONTROL

    FLORICULTURE – ORNAMENTAL PLANTS | IMPORTANCE, SPECIES, CULTIVATION, SOURCES, MAINTENANCE

    FOREST MANAGEMENT

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