Land Preparation: Tools Used, Objectives, Importance & More

Land preparation is the essential and the costliest operation in farming; the cost of getting tools and equipment used in land preparation accounts for about 30 percent of the total cost of cultivation. Land preparation involves surface clearing, soil opening with deep tillage equipment, moving soil from high to low spots, making farm roads, leveling, etc.

These operations require the use of self-propelled and heavy land preparation tools such as crawler tractors with heavy-duty plows and dozers, high horsepower tractors with dozing arid hoeing attachments, scrapers, ditchers, chisel plows, subsoilers, levelers, etc.

What Is Agricultural Land Preparation?

Agricultural land preparation is a process of preparing the soil for planting, usually by plowing or removing vegetation. Land preparation involves removing any unwanted plants, rocks, and other debris from the ground, as well as adding nutrients and minerals to prepare the soil for planting. The tools used in this process include plows, shovels, hoes, and rakes.

Land preparation can be done manually or mechanically using farm equipment such as tractors and combines. Manual use of these tools is labor-intensive and can be costly without proper training or experience. The equipment used for agricultural land preparation includes tillage tools such as plows and disk harrows; seedbed preparation tools such as rotary hoes; conservation tillage tools such as chisel plows.

Land preparation has changed from a manual to a power-assisted activity over the centuries, depending on the availability of different energy sources. Currently, tractors provide a major power source for tillage that allows many different variations.  Manual and animal-assisted tillage is still practiced though, Various activities are associated with land preparation to pave way for planting on the field. The kind of operation to adopt depends on the vegetation present in the field.

The tillage operations, defined as mechanical manipulation of soil, are performed to achieve the desired seedbed to provide the optimum environment for seed germination and plant growth using various tools and equipment used in land preparation. Seedbed preparation for the sowing of different crops is done through primary and secondary tillage operations. Moldboard plows, disc plows, soil stirring plows, ridger plow, tool frames/carriers with mouldboard plows or tillage sweeps, etc. are improved land preparation tools designed for breaking soil. Plows are used to break soil and invert furrow slices to control weeds, etc.

What Are the Two Objectives Of Land Preparation?

The main goals of land preparation are to break up compacted soil and to improve the soil conditions for the healthy growth of crops.

The first objective is to break up compacted soil, which is a large problem in many areas. This can be done by using a rototiller or by digging it up with a shovel, but either way, it’s important that this step be completed before planting.

The second objective is to improve the soil conditions so that crops can thrive. This can be done by adding manure, compost, and other amendments as needed. You may also want to consider adding lime or gypsum if your soil is too acidic or alkaline.

What Are The 5 Steps In Preparing The Land?

When preparing the land for planting, there are many important steps to take. These steps include selecting the land, determining soil health, clearing and weeding the land, first plowing or tilling, fertilizer and manure application, second plowing, harrowing, and planting.

Land Selection

It is important to choose the right land for your garden. You will need to consider the size of your garden, what you want to grow, and whether or not you have enough space for this type of gardening. If you do not have enough space then it may be better to lease or rent some land rather than buy it if you cannot afford to buy a large amount of land.

The soil should be fertile and healthy so that it can support the plants that you want to grow on it. You should also make sure that there are no chemicals in the soil before choosing a location for your garden because these chemicals can harm both humans and animals if they enter into contact with them accidentally while working in their yard at home or out in nature somewhere else outside where they live every day during springtime when everything starts growing again after winter ends each year.

Determining Soil Health

You need to determine soil health. This can be done by taking a soil sample and having it tested in a lab. The results of this test will help you determine which nutrients are lacking in your soil, as well as how much of each nutrient is needed to replenish your soil’s health.

Also, there is a need testing soil ph. This involves looking at the pH balance of your soil and making sure that it’s healthy for growing crops. You’ll want to take samples from different locations throughout your land, as well as check with local farmers to get an idea of what kinds of crops will grow well in your area.

Clear and Weeding the Land

Once you’ve determined what needs to be done to improve your soil’s health, you’ll need to clear away any weeds or debris that may be present on top of your property before planting anything new. You can use either an old rake or a lawn mower with an attachment that helps chop up large pieces of grass and weeds into smaller pieces so they can decompose more quickly (this will also help prevent erosion). It’s important that all plants growing on top of your property are removed before tilling takes place because these plants will compete with new plants for nutrients like sunlight, water, and space.

First plowing or tilling.

The first step is to break up any clumps in your soil and loosen it enough so that water and air can penetrate easily. You may also want to add some manure at this point, which will help plants get nutrients from their roots as they grow.

Manure Application

After you’ve broken up any clumps in your soil, spread manure over it before you begin working it again. This will provide nutrients to plants as they grow, helping them stay healthy and produce more fruit than they might otherwise have done.

Second Plowing

The second step involves plowing again with a different type of tool (such as a rotary hoe) than what you used before—this helps further aerate the soil as well as break up any remaining clumps that might still be hiding below ground level from where you first broke them up with your original tilling tool.


Harrowing is a process that involves breaking up the soil and removing any weeds or rocks. This helps to loosen up the soil, making it easier for plants to grow and making sure that your seeds have access to water and nutrients. Harrowing is when you drag a heavy roller over the soil, breaking up clods and smoothing out any large holes. This will help ensure that water can reach the roots of your plants, and it will help keep weeds from growing by breaking up their seeds.


After harrowing, you can start planting. It’s important to make sure that you have enough seeds to plant them all at once so they can grow together and save you some time later on in the season. Planting also helps keep weeds from growing by covering them up with soil.

What Are the Tools and Equipment Used for Land Preparation?

While land preparation is a major pre-planting activity, it requires some tools and equipment to carry out the variety of operation embedded in it. The following are tools and equipment used in land preparation.

#1. Cultivator

This is a secondary tillage tool. This machine in most cases is equipped with rotary motion. The primary function of the cultivator is to remove the weeds or pulverize and stir the soil prior to planting to aerate the soil and prepare a smooth, loose seedbed. Similarly, the cultivator can be used after the crop has begun growing to kill the surrounding weeds by uprooting them, burying their leaves to decay and disrupt their photosynthesis, or a combination of both.

Unlike a harrow, which disturbs the entire surface of the soil, the cultivator is designed to disturb the soil in careful patterns, sparing the crop plants but disrupting the weeds. Cultivators of the toothed type look similar in form to chisel plows, but their functions are different. The cultivator’s teeth operate near the surface, mainly for weed control, whereas the chisel plow shank’s function is to break up the hardpan on the soil surface.  

#2. Plow

The plow is one of the important farm tools used in land preparation; it is a primary tillage tool. The function of the plow is to loosen the soil by breaking the hard pan, to prepare it for sowing. Traditionally, draft animals such as donkeys, horses, camels, etc. usually power the plow by pulling on the soil surface; in modern times, the plow is pulled by a tractor.

The plow can be made of different materials, and the types of construction may also be different, but the main part is the blade that cuts into the soil and loosens it. The plow operates by turning over the uppermost soil, so bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and crop remains to decay. Trenches made by the plow during operation are called furrows. Plough also performs a very shallow plowing which introduces crop residues into the soil; these residues that are incorporated into the soil serve as a source of energy for soil microorganisms. Introducing the crop residues back into the soil enables summer rainfall to penetrate deeper into the soil, improving the soil’s moisture.

#3. Disc plow  

The disc plow is a type of plow designed to work in all types of soil but is preferably more suitable for land with much fibrous growth of weeds for its basic functions such as soil breaking, soil raising, soil turning, and soil mixing. By default, the size of the disc is 60 cm in diameter. The disc plow works well in soils free from stones; it is used open new fields and to process stony areas. it can be used easily in rocky and rooted areas.

#3. Mouldboard plough

A Moldboard plow is made up of the body, mouldboard or wing, share, landside, connecting, rod, bracket, and handle. The moldboard plow is commonly used where even inversion or complete pulverization of the soil is necessary; it inverts the soil, buries the water-repellent topsoil, and brings a layer of subsoil to the surface. It plows to a depth of 25 to 30 cm and provides an opportunity to bury weeds and their seeds and debris as well as incorporate nutrients, lime, organic matter, or other soil amendments to depth.

#4. Cultipacker

This is the land preparation equipment that is used for crushing soil clods, pressing small stones, removing air pockets, and so on. The cultipacker does a finishing job as it crushes dirt clods, removes air pockets, and presses down small stones, forming a smooth, firm seedbed. If seeds were broadcasted, the roller of the cultipacker gently firms the soil around the seeds to facilitate shallow seed placement and excellent seed-to-soil contact.

#5. Harrow

The harrow is the land preparation tool used for smoothening and further breaking down soil after plowing. Harrowing is often carried out on fields to follow the rough finish left by plowing operations. The harrow breaks down soil clods (lumps of soil) to provide a finer and good soil structure that enables easy percolation of water, good root development, and easy seedbed construction. The Harrow is also be used to remove weeds, and debris, and to cover seeds after sowing; it also creates a crumbly layer for planting, and improves both the air and water penetrability into the soil to improve microbiological processes and nutrient availability to plants.

#6. Subsoiler

This land preparation tool is tractor-mounted equipment that is used to break up and loosen the soil while deep tillage. It is used to improve the growth of crops in areas with impervious soil compaction. Subsoiler also called a mole plow, is a tractor-mounted implement used to loosen and break up soil clods at depths below the level of a traditional disk harrow. Most tractor-mounted land preparation tools will break up and turn over surface soil to a depth of 15-30 cm but a subsoiler will break up and loosen the soil to twice those depths. Typically a subsoiler mounted to a Compact Utility Tractor will reach depths of about 30 cm.

#7. Leveler

A land Leveller is an important land preparation equipment that is used for farming and agriculture with the purpose to created leveled land. It is usually used before the establishment of irrigation to the farmland. It ensures maximum utilization of limited water resources for irrigation tasks and simplification in the process of irrigation. The soil leveler facilitates the efficiency in the management of crops with better results and eliminates the problems of weeds for convenience in the preparation of the land.

#8. Ridger

A Ridger is a farm implement, which cuts and turns the soil in two opposite directions simultaneously to form a planting medium called ridger. It is also used for earthing up operations. It comprises discs that operate simultaneously to rotate in opposite directions, thereby cutting through the land and forming ridges. The discs allow the Ridger to penetrate even in impervious land conditions. These discs also facilitate the sowing of crops, and water management while also acting as walking paths and even boundaries in the field.

#9. Bulldozer

The Bulldozer is a tractor-equipped land preparation equipment with a substantial metal plate called a blade; the blade is used for the felling of trees, and pushing large quantities of soil, debris, or other materials during land preparation. The Bulldozer also has a claw-like device known as a ripper at the rear; this component helps to loosen densely compacted materials. It is usually a crawler (continuously tracked) tractor. It can also be used as a leveler for leveling farmland.

Why Is Land Preparation Important In Farming?

First, it helps prevent soil erosion and runoff. When the topsoil has been removed from the land and exposed to wind, rain and sun, it can be easily blown or washed away. This leaves the soil vulnerable to erosion by water and wind, which can ruin agricultural crops. In addition to damaging crops, this can also lead to flooding of rivers and streams that may not be able to handle all of the extra sediment they receive from eroded soil.

Land preparation is important in farming because it allows the farmer to grow crops that are best suited to their needs. If the land has been properly prepared, it will be able to provide nutrition and support to the crops being grown on it.

Land preparation is an important part of farming because it can help the farmer make sure that their crops have access to nutrients and water. It also helps them determine what kind of soil they have so they can plant crops that will grow well in that soil.

Land preparation is an important step in farming because it helps foster a healthy environment for the plants to grow. If the land is not properly prepared, then it can lead to plants that are more susceptible to disease, pests, and other problems.

Land preparation also helps make sure that water drains properly so that there are no puddles or standing water. This is important because it helps prevent diseases from spreading quickly through the plants. It also helps prevent insects from drinking from these pools of water and spreading those diseases as well.

Final thoughts

Land preparation is the process of getting a piece of land ready to build on. There are many different types of land preparation that can be done depending on your needs, as well as different tools and equipment used for each task.

5 thoughts on “Land Preparation: Tools Used, Objectives, Importance & More”

  1. I found it helpful when you said that tractors are now used to pull plough which prepares the soil for sowing. This is something that I will share with my father so he won’t have to do everything manually on his farm. He was given a tractor which he never tried using due to worn out parts, and it would make sense for him to shop for replacement parts.


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