the group of agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of agricultural crops. The combination, timing, and sequence of the practices used depend on the biological characteristics of the crops (whether winter or spring crops), the harvested form (grains, green feed, and so on), the sowing methods (row, nest, or wide-row), the age of the plants, and the soil, climatic, and weather conditions.
The principal crop-managing practices vary according to the class of crops. Winter crops require autumn topdressing with mineral fertilizers to improve winterhardiness of the plants, snow retention, spring topdressing, and harrowing. Solid-planted spring crops call for harrowing and topdressing; in arid regions they additionally need soil packing after planting. For row crops in preemergence, the crust of the soil must be broken up with harrows or rotary hoes; interrow tillage, blocking, thinning of sprouts, and topdressing are also indicated in the postemergence period. Perennial grasses require harrowing in the spring, harrowing after mowing, and topdressing.
Special crop-managing practices for individual crops include hilling, suckering, pinching, and chopping. Other field practices include crop irrigation and mechanical, biological, and chemical methods of combating weeds, pests, and diseases.
Crop management in the USSR is almost entirely mechanized.
S. A. VOROB’EV