Farming became cost and time efficient after the introduction of mechanized systems for plowing fields. Plowing fields using machines mounted on or dragged by a tractor allowed plowing of large tracts of land in short spans of time. Farmers could plow all types and textures of soil using these mechanized plows. Plowing fields using machines has greatly increased and improved food production around the world.
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The tractor is the basic machine required for most mechanized farming activities, including plowing fields. The tractor acts as the power supplier and controller of the plowing machine just like a CPU controls a computer. Plowing machines are mounted on the tractor or dragged by the tractor. Tractors also provide powerful traction to minimize the soil drag caused by the plowing machine during the process of plowing.
Basic Moldboard Plow
The moldboard plow is designed to completely pull up the soil along with all the weeds and other plants growing in it. The moldboard plow then turns the soil and buries the unnecessary weeds and other plants under the soil. Most plows use moldboards. The moldboard plow easily prepares most types of soil for planting. Modern plowing machines have up to seven moldboards for fast and efficient preparation of large tracts of land because it automatically forms furrows with ridges for proper drainage of the soil. The hydraulic system of the tractor controls the action of the plow and, in advanced machines, the tractor can control the depth and size of furrows.
The chisel plow prepares the soil for planting without as much upheaval of soil. The plow loosens soil but unlike the moldboard plow it does not turn the soil. The plow prepares fields that do not require too much tilling. The chisel plow needs a powerful tractor because it causes considerable soil drag.
The ridging plow consists of two moldboards facing away from each other. The plow makes a ditch in the soil with banks or ridges on each side. Ridging plows prepare the soil for planting crops like potatoes that are planted in ditches or furrows.
The Disc Plow
The disc plow prepares hard, dry and bushy soil. The plow consists of two concave steel discs inclined in a backward direction. This type of plow does not have moldboards and works better than moldboard plows on dry and rocky land.