Meaning Of Cultural Practices In Agriculture

Cultural Practices In Agriculture (Planting Operations)

What is Cultural practice?

The term “cultural practice” refers to all of the actions or operations that are carried out on a farm by a farmer at various times of the year with the purpose of producing food and raw materials for man. It also refers to all of the activities carried out on a farm by a farmer before, during, and after the planting of crops as this aspect of farming.

Meaning Of Cultural Practices In Agriculture

On a farm, cultural practices are all the things that happen before, during, and after the field is cultivated and planted.
These activities are called

  1. Pre-planting operations
  2. Planting operations
  3. Post-planting operations


Pre-Planting Operations

These are any operations or activities that needs to be done on the farm before planting should occur. They include site selection, clearing out bushes, burning trash, making of heaps or bed, preparing the nursery, pricking out, weeding.


1. Site selection

When choosing a site, you should think about the size of the farm, the crops you want to grow, the soil’s fertility, the topography of the land, the supply of water, where you live, how close the road and market are, etc. Usually, the best soil is one that is neutral, sandy, and full of organic matter.

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2. Site Clearing

This is done to get the land ready for growing. Depending on how thick the bush is, cutting can be done with a cutlass or a machete.


3. Burning

This may or may not be necessary, based on how much trash there is. It could be used to help get rid of plants that have been cleared. After the debris is burnt, it helps lower the acidity of the soil and the number of pests and diseases that live there.


4. Stumping

This is when farm tools like the cutlass, hoe, mattock, axe, bull-dozer, etc. are used to remove the base of trees and shrubs by hand or with a machine. This was done to make farming easy and to clear of obstacles.


5. Plotting

This is the process of mapping or outlining between plots of farmland. Here, you will need ranging sticks and measuring tapes, among other things.


6. Tillage

Tillage is the process of breaking up or turning the soil using a basic tool or farm machine after the field has been cleared to get ready for cultivating crops. This can be accomplished manually with crude tools such as hoe, cutlass etc or mechanically with a Tractor-driven Disc-Plough.


Planting Operations

This is when the seedlings, seeds, or other propagative materials are actually put in the ground. All of the activities that are done during the planting process are called “planting operations.” These are some of them:


1. Seed Treatment

This is a way to prepare the seeds or other planting materials for planting so that they will germinate or sprout well and give an adequate harvest.

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2. Spacing and Planting

Spacing is the space between inter-row and intra-row plants that is allowed for each crop species. Spacing distance is different for each plant type. If the plants are too close together, they will have to compete for light, water, soil nutrients, etc.


3. Seed Rate

This is the amount of seeds or other growing materials needed to cover a certain area. It is shown as the number of seeds per stand of the farm.


4. Planting Date

The best time to plant depends on the crop type, the species, and the season. But there is early planting from March to May and late planting from August to October in the case of Nigeria.


5. Planting Depth

This is the minimum or maximum planting depth that the plant needs to do well in the growing environment.


6. Transplanting

Transplanting is the process of moving the seedlings from the nursery to the actual planing site, where it will grow until it is ready to be harvested.


Post-Planting Operations

These are things that are done after the crops are planted or transplanted, till the period at which they are harvested. A good post planting operation protects against yield loss. Among these tasks are the following:


1. Thinning

This is the process of getting rid of weak, dead, or too many plants or seeds so that the stronger, healthier ones can grow properly.


2. Supplying

This is the process of replacing dead seedlings with new seeds or seedlings so that empty spots don’t emerge.

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3.  Mulching

This is when you cover the soil’s surface with things like dry grass, wood shavings, straw, etc. to keep water from evaporating, stop weeds from growing, keep the soil at the right temperature, and add organic manure to the soil. It also helps against erosion, loss of soil water content due to harsh sunlight.


4. Application of manure and fertilizer

Plants need the right amount of nutrients to grow and produce fruit. To do this, organic manure and inorganic fertilizers are applied to the soil to provide any deficient nutrients to the soil.


5. Harvesting

Harvesting is the process of taking matured crop products from the farm to eat right away, process, sell, or store. This can be done by hand or with machines like simple harvesters, combined harvesters, automatic reapers, and so on. Some harvesting crude tools include the sickle, the cutlass, the go-to-hell, basket, hoe, etc.


6. Staking

This a process of raising plants with weak stems or runner plants with sticks, thread, and other materials that can suspend the plant in the air


7. Pruning and trimming

This involves the removal of too many stems, branches, or leaves from a particular plant to improve its growth.


8. Pests and Diseases Control

This is a process that helps prevent or cure the crop of disease and eliminate pest that destroy crops in the field. The use of chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides as well as the use of biological enemies of pests such as using fowl to eliminate Locust or the use of cats to eliminate rodents from a cassava farm.


9. Weeding

This involves the process of removing unwanted plants from the field to prevent competition for nutrients and sunlight so as to achieve the best yield possible.