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close this bookBetter Farming Series 07 - Crop Farming (FAO - INADES, 1976, 29 p.)
close this folderPlan of work
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Open this folder and view contentsHow to till
View the documentDepth of tillage
View the documentWhen to plough
View the documentHarrowing

Depth of tillage

Tillage can be shallow, normal or deep.

· Shallow tillage.

Look at this drawing:

Shallow tillage

The ploughshare cuts a strip of soil 10 to 15 centimetres thick.

The tillage is said to be shallow when its depth is from 10 to 15 centimetres.

· Normal tillage.

Look at this drawing:

Normal tillage

Tillage is said to be normal when the depth of tillage is 20 centimetres.

With normal tillage the soil can be well turned over and the remains of plants can be well buried.

Make a first furrow with the plough across the whole length of the field.


At the end of the field, turn.
Make a second furrow alongside the first.
The second strip of ploughed field joins the first.
After that, keep turning round the strip of ploughed field.

Conventional ploughing

If the field is very big, make several "lands."

If the field is on a slope, plough along the contour lines (see Booklet No. 5, page 8).

If the cultivated soil (see Booklet No. 4, page 9) is not deep, and if the soil is very light, ploughing is not necessary (see Booklet No. 4, page 17). It may even be a bad thing (see page 7).

Instead use a machine with tines, drawn by animals.

The tines stir the soil without turning it over.

Animal- draw cultivator

With oxen use five to eight tines.
With one donkey, use fewer tines, say three to five.
For other work, such as hoeing, weeding, earthing up (see page 21) change the tines of the cultivator.