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close this bookBetter Farming Series 15 - Cereals (FAO - INADES, 1977, 51 p.)
close this folderGrowing cereals in the modern way
View the documentClearing land and grubbing out trees
View the documentConserving and improving the soil
View the documentApplying manure and fertilizers
View the documentPreparing the soil
View the documentSelecting and preparing seeds
View the documentSowing in rows
View the documentHow to look after cereals
View the documentHarvesting
View the documentSelling part of the harvest

Clearing land and grubbing out trees

A modern farmer who uses animal power must clear his fields and grub out the trees.

He must take out all the trees, even the biggest. And he must get out the tree stumps. If he does not remove the stumps, his tools (his hoe and plough) will get bent on the big roots. He will not be able to use animal power. He will not be able to sow in rows. He will not be able to use an animal- drawn cultivator.

The stumps and trees will go on taking food from the soil. Around the stumps and trees the crops will grow less well.


You can pull out the trees and the stumps with a tractor. But that costs a lot, and most farmers have no tractor.

You can also pull out trees and their stumps with a winch.
Fix the winch to a big strong tree and tie the cable of the winch to the tree you want to pull out.
Then turn the winch until the cable pulls out the tree, stump and all.
A winch does not cost much.
The farmers in a village can join together to buy a winch.
Then they can quickly clear all the fields of the village.

You can also grub out trees with hand tools.

Take away the soil round the base of the tree, so as to uncover the roots. Then cut all the roots. Finally, with a rope pull down the tree. Its stump will be pulled out at the same time.

Grubbing tool

Grubbing must be done well before sowing, at the beginning of the dry season. At that time the soil is still moist, and trees are easily pulled out, Thus the field will be cleared of stumps before sowing time. There will be time for tilling the soil and the sowing will not be late.