What qualifies as cultivated land
In farming, there are certain things that are absolutely necessary in order to run and maintain a successful business. And having an area of land is rather important when wanting to start a farm. Then again, it’s not always as simple as just having a large plot of any old land. Is it?
What’s the deal with cultivated land? And what exactly qualifies as cultivated? Here’s all you need to know.
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The definition of cultivated land
So, according to the dictionary, cultivated land is farmland suited to growing of crops through plough and sow methods. So, basically, if you plan on starting a crop farm, you’re going to need cultivated land in order to do so.
Cultivated land is, therefore, important in farming as it is the way in which the land can be suitable for the growth of crops. Without it, farming efforts would be for nothing and crop farmers would not be able to keep up with the rising demand. But cultivated land isn’t always something you can just find. There are certain activities that need to be carried out in order to cultivate land.
How to achieve cultivated land
As cultivated land is a necessity in farming, you’re going to need to know what must be done before you can even think about what type of crop you want to grow. The process of cultivating your land can take up to two years to get it where it needs to be for successful yields, so you better start now. It’s time to prepare your land, even if it’s been deemed as non-agricultural land. So, here’s what you need to do:
- Clear it out: You start by clearing out the land. Weeds are crop killers and if you start farming on land with weeds in the ground, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This is also your opportunity to remove unwanted foliage and rocks from the area in order to design the layout of your crop farm.
- Level the field: Once you’re confident that there are no weed roots to be found on your farmland, you’ll need to level out the field. There are regulations for farming on slopes steeper than 12% and, in any case, it will be easier to work on level ground. Once this is done, you can also start digging out holes for where your crops are going to be planted.
- Test your soil: Your soil is the most important factor of your land. Without the right soil, you’ll just be wasting your time. Once you’ve cleared and levelled the land and dugout your seedling holes, you can take a sample from each of the holes and different areas of the farm where you will be farming, and send them off for testing. These tests will cover a whole lot of aspects (such as soil structure, pH levels, available nutrients and aeration ability) that will all influence what type of crops you will be able to grow. Then you’re going to have to work hard to keep your soil healthy. Healthy soil retains water, has plenty of nutrients and is fertile. All of which can be achieved through the addition of organic matter to the soil, as well as a few other practices.
- Time for tillage: Tillage is another soil preparation activity. For cultivated and arable land, you need to till the soil with tillage machinery. This will encourage water retention, nutrients and organic matter. There are different methods of tilling which will depend on the type of farm you plan to run and the amount of tillage the soil needs in this preparation phase.
How to maintain cultivated land
Now that your land is ready and your crops are planted, you need to be able to maintain the cultivation of the land. It will all come down to the maintaining the quality of your soil so that it is a productive environment for crop growth. And that will require agricultural practices such as:
- Planting cover crops: If you want to protect the crops you have and enrich the soil at the same time, you need to plant cover crops. Legumes, brassica and ryegrass are popular cover crops that can be planted among your regular crops to help maintain your cultivated land by crop protection soil enrichment.
- Adding a layer of mulch: Mulch is a layer of practically any material that is thrown on top of your soil. Leaf, peach pit, bark and compost are examples of mulch that can be used on your soil. The function thereof will be to help the soil retain moisture, regulate temperature and even discourage weed growth.
It’s safe to say that, technically, any land qualifies as cultivated land. As long as you take the necessary steps to make and keep it that way.
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