Preplanting Soil Treatment

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Preplanting Soil Treatment


such mechanical means of treating soil as harrowing, cultivation, and replowing, performed in a certain order before planting crops. The purpose of this treatment is to maintain maximum moisture in the soil, clear weeds, loosen the soil, apply fertilizer, and create a moist layer at the seed level.

Preplanting soil treatment for spring crops begins early in the spring with surface harrowing of fall-plowed fields. Its purpose is to level and loosen the soil’s surface in order to prevent evaporation of capillary water. The procedure is carried out selectively as the soil reaches physical maturity, at first on light soils on southern slopes and elevated places. Light harrows and levelers are used on light soils that were thoroughly plowed in the autumn; heavy harrows are used for dense clayey soils. For better leveling and loosening, the harrowing is done across the furrows or at a diagonal, often in several trips.

For such early crops as oats, barley, and wheat, the fall-plowed land is cultivated after surface harrowing; at the same time, the soil is leveled with a harrow or leveler. For such late crops as millet, corn, and buckwheat, additional deep cultivation (to depths of 10–12 cm on heavy soils and 8–10 cm on medium soils) with simultaneous harrowing takes place after the surface harrowing; this ensures effective control of perennial weeds. The field is then cultivated to the seed level. In areas with excessive or sufficient moisture, the soil is sometimes replowed in the spring.

Preplanting soil-treatment procedures and the order in which they are carried out may vary depending on natural conditions and on the weather of a particular autumn, winter, or spring. For example, preplanting cultivation of fall-plowed land is essential for early crops when such land has become compacted in the spring. If the soil is loose and the spring has been dry, soil tillage with heavy harrows will produce better results. With small-grain crops, preplanting soil treatment includes packing the soil with smooth rollers at the time of preplanting cultivation.

Preplanting soil treatment for winter crops is carried out during tillage of fallow land.


Zemledelie, 2nd ed. Edited by S. A. Vorob’ev. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.