5 Advantages of Using a Moldboard Plow
Many farmers find the moldboard plow a vital tool in farm maintenance. It helps to prepare the soil before seed is sown. The plow is also very useful when you need to prepare the ground for grass seeding. It consists of a plow with a large curved bottom—called a moldboard—affixed to a frame. Shears are located on the bottom edge of the moldboard while large curved wings are found on the top edge. The tool slices through the top layers of soil and thoroughly reworks soil composition. Advantages of the moldboard plow are given below.
1. High Efficiency
When well-adjusted, the plow automatically seeks the desired depth. You need not apply extra weight to the plow to attain desired depth. This results in lower levels of fatigue. The complex structure of the plow clears the ground of wheel trucks and channels left by the machinery used to harvest. This creates a more level surface which enables seed to be sown with higher accuracy.
The plow also enhances the soil drainage properties. This is because the ridges the plow forms in the soil act as water channels. You can prepare a field much faster with a moldboard plow than conventional plows allow. The quicker working time enables you to work a larger area of field.
The various models have different features that enable high efficiency in preparation of the land. Some models have 2 moldboards while others have a dozen. The width of cut typically ranges from 1 to 2 feet. Most models can achieve a depth cut of one and a half feet. Some models integrate a reset mechanism. This allows the moldboard to override obstacles in its path and regain the original position. Fewer disruptions in the course of work enable a faster turnaround.
3. Weed Control
As the plow works the ground, it buries weeds that tend to spring up after the harvest is done. The plow thoroughly inverts the soil which inhibits the growth of weeds until the following season. This spares you from the time and labor involved where weed resurgence is a frequent occurrence.
4. Pest Control
The plow helps get rid of many of the pests that dwell on farmland. When these pests are eradicated, it provides plants with a more conducive environment for healthy growth. Minimal presence of pests also contributes towards a bountiful harvest.
5. Improved Soil Health
The plow buries crop residues deeper into the ground which enables decomposition to take place. The reduction of crop residues on the soil surface enables the soil to warm up faster. Evaporation of water is also enhanced which provide a more conducive environment for seed when it is sowed.
The plow also buries surface manure and fertilizers. This optimizes availability of nutritional content to deeper levels within the soil. It also reduces the odor of manure and fertilizer when these occur abundantly on the surface soil.
The plow activity reduces the loss of nitrogen through volatilization. More nitrogen is made available for humus to be produced from organic content. Mineral formation is also facilitated through this process.