Land improvement practices including land leveling and land forming require significant soil movement in order to change the surface of the land for agricultural production. Once the land is improved for agriculture, additional, less intensive soil movement is usually required to maintain the improved state.
Tillage operations used to prepare the seedbed can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary tillage. Primary til lage can include the use of the moldboard plow, chisel plow, or disk plow. It is often the most intensive form of tillage. For example, moldboard plowing inverts the soil over the entire field. Primary tillage marks the end of one cropping season and the beginning of the next and creates a dramatic visible change on the landscape. Subsequent tillage operations used to prepare the seedbed are referred to as secondary tillage. These operations can include the use of tandem or off set disks, field cultivator, harrows, packers. Operations that disturb the soil during seeding, management, or harvesting the crop are referred to as tertiary tillage.
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