Before growing a crop, the soil in which it is to be grown is prepared by ploughing, levelling, and manuring. Ploughing is the process of loosening and digging of soil using a plough. This helps in proper aeration of the soil. After ploughing, the soil is distributed evenly and levelled in the process called levelling. The soil is then manured.
Selection of seeds of good quality crop strains is the primary stage of sowing. After the preparation of soil, these seeds are dispersed in the field and this is called sowing. Sowing can be done manually, by hand or by using seed drilling machines. Some crops like paddy are first grown into seedlings in a small area and then transplanted to the main field.
Crops need nutrients to grow and produce yield. Thus the amount of nutrients at regular intervals is necessary. Manuring is the step where nutritional supplements are provided and these supplements may be natural (manure) compounds. Manure is the disintegration product of plant and animal wastes. Apart from providing nutrients to crop, manure replenishes soil fertility as well. Other methods for soil replenishment are vermicompost, crop rotation, planting of leguminous plants.
Irrigation is the supply of water. Sources of water can be wells, ponds, lakes, canals, dams etc. Over irrigation may lead to waterlogging and damage the crop. This frequency and interval between successive irrigation need to be controlled.
Weeds are unwanted plants which grow among crops. They are removed by using weedicides, by pulling them by hands and some are removed during soil preparation.
Once the crop is matured, it is cut and collected, this process is called harvesting. Followed by harvesting, grains are separated from the debris either by threshing or manually in small scale (winnowing).
Grains yielded are stored in granaries or bins at godowns for later use or marketing. Therefore, methods of crop protection need to be better. To protect grains from pest and rodents- cleaning, drying, fumigation, etc are done before storing.