1. Precision Soil preparation
Soil preparation is the first step before growing a crop. The ultimate objective is to produce a firm and weed-free seedbed for rapid germination and emergence of the crop.
One of the most important tasks in soil preparation is tilling (or ploughing): turning the soil and loosening it.
Tilling creates optimal soil by:
Mechanically destroying weeds that compete for water, nutrients and sunlight.
Incorporating organic material: residues left over from the previous crops are incorporated in the soil and decomposed.
Loosening the soil: loosened soil allows the roots to penetrate deep into the soil and to breathe easily. It also supports the growth of earthworms and microbes.
Soil preparation is one of the most energy-consuming parts of agriculture, requiring significant inputs of fuel and time. Depending on the field’s location, it may also increase the risk of soil erosion.
Today, precision farming equipment exists that helps farmers to use considerably less fuel and time in soil preparation by improving the accuracy, efficiency and sustainability of the process.