Soil Movement by Tillage

The most prominent forms of tillage are those used to prepare the seedbed, for example, plowing, disking, and cultivating. Soil movement occurs during a variety of other field operations, such as harrowing, packing,

Box 1 Tillage

"Tillage is the manipulation, generally, mechanical, of soil properties for any purpose; but in agriculture, it is usually restricted to modifying soil conditions for crop production." Tillage equipment (tools) includes "any field tools and machinery which is designed to lift, invert, stir, and pack soil, reduce the size of clods and uproot weeds, i.e., plows, harrows, disks, cultivators, and rollers'' (SSSA, 1987).

bedding, seeding, injecting, weeding, hilling, and harvesting of some crops; as such, these operations are all forms of tillage (Box 1).

Tillage equipment can be powered by man, animal, or tractor. It can be as simple as a hoe or as complex as an implement with multiple tools, types oftools, and sections that can span 3-5 m in length and 20-30 m in width. The depth of tillage can be very shallow for some operations such as weeding or very deep for others such as plowing. The depth of moldboard plowing is normally 15-25 cm, but can exceed 40 cm. Tractor-drawn equipment is normally operated at speeds of 5-8 km h-1, but can exceed 10kmh~ (Table 1). All of these characteristics of the tillage equipment and its operation affect soil movement.

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