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Form 1 Agriculture Notes on Crop Production

Grade/Class: Form 1

Subject: Agriculture

Term: Select Term

Document Type: PDF


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Lesson objectives
By the end of the lesson you should be able to:-
i) Explain the importance of land preparation
ii) Describe the two types of cultivation
iii) Relate each cultivation operation to the correct tools and implements
iv) Appreciate preparation of land ready for crop production.

Importance of land preparation
* To kill weeds.
* Incorporate manure and other organic matter into the soil.
* Improve soil aeration.
* Destroy different stages of crop pest such as egg, larval, pupae or adults by burying them or exposing them to predators.
* To encourage penetration of roots in the soil
* To make subsequent operations possible.
* Encourage water infiltration into the soil.

Land Clearing
Plough is one equipment used in land preparation for a suitable seedbed
Tools and equipment used in subsequent operations after ploughing to make suitable seedbed .Such operations include planting, fertilizer application, rolling and ridging.

Importance primary cultivation
* Expose soil borne pests and diseases to suns heat
* Bring up nutrients present in the subsoil to surface
* Improve water infiltration
* Loosen soil for easy germination and root development
* Mix up organic matter in the soil Improve soil aeration
* Kill weeds

Primary cultivation can be achieved through the following ways
Hand digging as part of land preparation for a suitable seedbed in small scale farming Mechanical cultivation to break hardpan for preparation of a deep and large seedbed.
Use of ox- plough to prepare a shallow seedbed.
Disc plough suitable for rocky areas.

The depth of ploughing is determined by the following
* Type of crop to be grown
* Type of soil
* Implement available

The choice of the correct implement is determined by
* Condition of soil
* Depth of cultivation

Reasons for timely cultivation
* Decompose weeds into organic matter
* Allow enough time for carbon dioxide and other gases to diffuse out of the soil while being replaced by oxygen which is important for germination and growth of soil organism.
* To encourage early planting

Importance secondary cultivation
Break large clods to reasonable tilth
Allow easy planting
To level the field in order to achieve a uniform depth at planting
Kill weeds
Mix up organic matter in the soil Improve soil aeration

Factors determining the number of times secondary cultivations should be done include:
* Condition of the soil after primary cultivation
* Size of planting material
* Slope of the land
* The moisture content of the soil

Primary and secondary cultivation
What are the reasons for carrying out primary and secondary cultivation?
Reasons for for carrying out primary and secondary cultivation
* Break the soil into appropriate tilth for the required seed bed

Minimum Tillage
This is the application that combines all farming practices aimed at least disturbance of the soil.
The operations include:
Application of herbicides
Use of mulch on the soil surface
Restricting cultivation to the area where seed are to be planted
Establishing cover crop on the field
Uprooting or slashing weeds in perennial crops.
Mowing weeds during minimum tillage
Mowing land for planting

Reasons for carrying out minimum tillage
* To prevent exposure of humus to adverse conditions such as the suns heat that cause volatilization of nitrogen
* To maintain soil structure
* To control soil erosion
* To conserve moisture
* Prevent disturbance of roots
* Reduce cost of operations

Mulching for minimum tillage
Mulch for soil conservation
These are operations carried out to suit the preparation of given seedbed used when producing certain crops. Examples of such operations include:-
* Ridging
* Rolling
* Leveling

(Harrowing, ridging, rolling, leveling and fertilizer application)

This is the process of cultivating the soil for the purpose of breaking up the hardpans

Importance Sub-soiling
* Breaking up the hardpans
* Facilitating gaseous exchange in the soil
* Bringing to the surface minerals which might have leached to the deeper layers.

Rolling and Leveling
These activities are carried at once to lower the cost and save time as shown below.
Sub-soiling is done where soil is compacted and there is need to improve drainage and aeration as shown below.
Ridging is done when preparing a seedbed for tubers or roots among other planting materials
Sweet potatoes planted in ridges


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