Tillage :: Land Preparation :: Sorghum

SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolor)

Nursery Preparation
For raising seedlings to plant one hectare, select 7.5 cents (300 m2) near a water source where water will not stagnate.

Laying The Nursery
i.    Provide three separate units of size 2 m x 1.5 m with 30 cm space in between the plots and all around the unit for irrigation.
ii.   Excavate the soil from the inter-space and all around to a depth of 15 cm to form channels and spread the soil removed on the bed and level.

Main Field Preparation for Irrigated Crop

Plough the field with an iron plough once (or) twice. Sorghum does not require fine tilth since it adversely affects germination and yield in the case of direct sown crop.

To overcome the subsoil hard pan in Alfisols (deep red soils) chiselling the field at 0.5 m intervals to a depth of 40 cm on both the directions of the field followed by disc ploughing once and cultivator ploughing twice help to increase the yield of sorghum and the succeeding blackgram also. This was true with Sorghum followed by Groundnut also.

Application of FYM and 100% of recommended N can also be followed. In soils with sub-soil hard pan, chiselling should be done every year at the start of the cropping sequence to create a favourable physical environment.

Formation of Ridges and Furrows
i.    Form ridges and furrows using a ridger at 6 m long and 45 cm apart
ii.   Form irrigation channels across the furrows
iii.   Alternatively, form beds of size 10 m2 and 20 m2 depending on the availability of water.

Field Preparation
Test the soil and apply fertilizers based on soil test recommendations.


Field has to be prepared well in advance taking advantage of early showers. 


FYM application should be done @ 12.5 t / ha and well incorporated at the time of ploughing.


Chiseling for soils with hard pan


Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5 M interval, first in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one once in three years. Apply 12.5 t FYM or composted Coir pith/ha besides chiseling to get an additional yield of about 30% over control.


To conserve the soil moisture sow the seeds in flat beds and form furrows between crop rows during inter cultivation or during third week after sowing.