Preparation of Soil for Agriculture in India – Meaning, Steps, and Advantages

15 May 2023
Preparation of Soil for Agriculture in India – Meaning, Steps, and Advantages Article
Preparation of soil is a process of making the soil reach an ideal level need for plant growth. It involves a series of steps that aim to enhance soil structure, increase soil fertility, and improve water and nutrient availability.

Table of Content


The preparation of soil is an integral part of farming, as it helps to create an optimal environment for plant growth and development. Good preparation of soil for agriculture can lead to higher productivity and better yields.

By properly preparing the soil, farmers can improve soil structure, increase soil fertility, and ensure that nutrients and water are available to plants when they need them. Therefore, farmers should focus on proper soil preparation techniques to achieve their desired crop yields.

In this article, we will discuss the about preparation of soil and list some advantages of preparing soil along with different methods used to prepare soil for agricultural purposes.

What is Preparation of Soil?

Preparation of soil means use of different methods and techniques to help improve soil conditions by increasing its nutrient content, texture, drainage, and aeration. So, farmers prepare their land before planting their crops, which helps ensure the soil can support healthy growth, sustain a high yield, and reduce the risk of disease and pests.

Ideal Soil for Farming

Before going into what are the steps involved in soil preparation, we will discuss what should be the ideal soil for farming. An ideal soil for agriculture is a soil that has the following characteristics:

Good Soil Structure: The soil should have a good structure with a good balance of sand, silt, and clay. A well-structured soil promotes root growth, water infiltration, and nutrient availability.

Good Soil Fertility: The soil should have sufficient nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other micronutrients, that are essential for plant growth and development.

Good Soil Drainage: The soil should have good drainage, allowing excess water to flow through the soil, preventing waterlogging, and providing adequate aeration for plant roots.

Adequate Soil Moisture: The soil should have adequate moisture for plant growth and development. It should not be too wet or too dry.

Neutral Soil pH: The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5, which is the ideal range for most crops. Soil pH affects the availability of nutrients to plants.

Good Soil Texture: The soil should have a good texture that allows water and air to circulate freely. It should not be too sandy or too clayey.

Low Salinity: The soil should have low salinity levels, which can be harmful to plant growth and development.

Free of Contaminants: The soil should be free of contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful substances, that can be harmful to plants, animals, and humans.

Overall, an ideal soil for agriculture should provide an optimal environment for plant growth and development, allowing farmers to produce high-quality crops with high yields.

What are the Steps Involved in Preparing Soil in India?

Above, we have gone through the ideal soil characteristics for farming. Soil preparation is a process of making the soil reach an ideal level need for plant growth. It involves a series of steps that aim to enhance soil structure, increase soil fertility, and improve water and nutrient availability.

ICAR Recommendations for Soil Preparation

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has recommended the method for soil preparation. Let us have a look.

Land Preparation: Land should be ploughed 3-4 times with a MB plough implement to remove the leftover parts of the previous crop, weeds, stones, and other debris.

Use of Cultivator: After ploughing, the land should be levelled and made clod-free by using a cultivator implement 3-4 times.

Application of Fertilizers: After the final cultivation, organic manure such as farmyard manure, compost, or vermicompost, should be added to the soil. Fertilizers should also be applied based on the soil test report to ensure proper nutrient balance.

Levelling: The land should be levelled and properly aligned by using a land leveler implement, and drainage channels should be made to avoid waterlogging.

Formation of Raised Beds: Raised beds of 1.2-1.5 m wide and 15-20 cm high should be formed for vegetable crops. For row crops, flat beds of 1.5-2 m width should be formed.

Application of Micronutrients: If the soil test report indicates a deficiency of micronutrients, they should be applied at the recommended rates.

Irrigation: After land preparation, the field should be irrigated to achieve optimum soil moisture.

Above we looked on the recommendations of ICAR, now let us know about the soil preparation general process, which are generally adopted by Indian farmers.

Process of Soil Preparation Adopted in India

Ploughing: In India, both manual and mechanized ploughing methods are used. In some regions, farmers still use traditional wooden plough pulled by bullocks or other animals, while in other areas, tractors and other mechanized equipment are used.

Harrowing: After ploughing, the soil is usually harrowed to break up any clumps and create a finer, more even seedbed. Harrowing involves using a harrow or cultivator to break up soil clods and level the surface after ploughing. It helps to incorporate any organic matter or fertilizer that has been added to the soil. It can also help remove weeds and incorporate organic matter into the soil.

Levelling: Once the soil has been ploughed and harrowed, it is usually levelled to create a uniform surface. This is particularly important in areas where irrigation is used, as it helps to ensure that water is distributed evenly across the field.

Adding organic matter: In many parts of India, farmers add organic matter to the soil to improve its fertility and structure. This can include compost, animal manure, and green manure crops.

Adding fertilizer: Depending on the crop being grown and the soil conditions, farmers may also add chemical fertilizers to the soil to provide essential nutrients for plant growth.

Mulching: In some regions, farmers use mulch to help conserve moisture and control weeds. Mulch can be made from a variety of materials, including straw, leaves, and crop residues.

Advantages of Preparing Soil

In this section, we have listed some advantages of preparing soil such as increase in availability of soil nutrients, improvement in soil texture, and help control weeds, among others. Let us see each of the advantage in brief.

Nutrient Availability to Plants

It helps to increase the availability of nutrients to plants, which is essential for growth and crop yields. Nutrient-poor soil can lead to stunted growth, lower yields, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases. Properly preparing soil helps ensure that plants have access to the necessary nutrients, which can promote healthy growth and development.

Improve Soil Texture

soil preparation can help improve soil texture, which is vital for water retention and drainage. Soil that is too compact or clay-like may not drain well, leading to waterlogging and anaerobic conditions that can harm plant growth.

On the other hand, sandy soil is not good for holding water, which can lead to drought conditions.

Preparing the soil correctly helps create a suitable environment for the plant's root system, promoting sufficient water infiltration and nutrient absorption.

Weed Control

soil preparation can help control weeds, which are a significant problem for farmers. By tilling the soil and removing any weeds, farmers can prevent them from competing with their crops for nutrients and water.

Additionally, farmers can use techniques such as cover cropping to suppress weeds and improve soil health.

Reduce Soil Erosion

Proper soil preparation can help reduce soil erosion and nutrient leaching, which can negatively impact the environment. By ensuring that the soil structure is stable, water infiltration is efficient, and nutrients remain in the soil, farmers can minimize the risk of soil degradation and pollution.

Implements Used During the Preparation of Soil

Preparation of soil for agriculture require different tractor implements to be used. We have given the name of implements used during the preparation of soil in this section.

Plough: Earlier farmer used to plough the farmland with the help of a wooden plough. With the modernisation of agriculture, now increasingly MB Plough or Hydraulic Reversible MB Plough is used to plough the land saving time, money and increasing productivity.

Cultivator: A cultivator implement like Fieldking Extra Heavy Duty FKSLOEHD-9 used to harrow, break the soil clods, and make the land uniform before sowing. Even a power harrow or disc harrow can also be used for this purpose.

Land Leveler: After the land has been ploughed and cultivated, then the land is leveled with the help of either a Land Leveler implement, or more advanced Laser Land Leveler implement.

Mulcher: A mulcher implement such as Shaktiman SRM 220 mulcher is used to mulch the soil to help conserve moisture and control weeds.

Fertiliser Broadcaster: A fertiliser broadcaster such as Shaktiman SFB400 is used to apply fertiliser to the field to support plant growth in efficient manner.


Proper soil preparation is essential for successful agricultural farming. By improving soil texture, drainage, and nutrient availability, farmers can promote healthy plant growth, high yields, and minimize the risk of pests and disease. There are various methods of soil preparation, each with its advantages and limitations. It is essential for farmers to choose a technique that works best for their specific circumstances to ensure optimal crop production and environmental sustainability.

Popular Blogs

Browse Categories


Call Us At

whatsapp icon