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Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Why a disc plow?

Author 
Loren

02-14-2003 04:56:31
206.228.213.94



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There is a picture of a disc plow posted in the "Help Identify" section that raises a question this crowd can probably answer. The suggestion there was that disc plows were used in dry land where wind erosion would be a problem. I am not sure how it would help that problem, but I thought they were used in very rocky ground. I grew up pulling one through the rocks in southern Missouri. So why do you think they were used and are they still being used?

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Dave K

02-16-2003 18:32:30
63.183.136.64



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
so WHAT do modern farmers plow with? I still use a 3/14 moldboard plow for the small amount I plow (about 15 acres) Getting hard or expensive to find/buy shares etc for these now.

Dave



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Loren with thanks for your responses.

02-16-2003 06:56:53
206.228.212.199



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
The feedback that they were good for hard rocky soils confirmed my memories as to why we used one in southern Missouri. But I am puzzled by the responses that they completely turned the soil, covering all debris but left a very rough surface. The coverage was good but I don't remember a rough surface problem. In fact, my dad was such a stickler for having a nice looking field that the plow must have done a nice job or we must have done a LOT of disking afterwards and I don't remember that we did.

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ron in MN

02-16-2003 13:25:29
216.114.212.194



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 Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren with thanks for your responses., 02-16-2003 06:56:53  
Loren, You didn't answer my question as to which picture you were referring to. If it was to the picture called "Krause plow", then that is what was commonly referred to as a one-way and they did usually leave a fairly smooth surface as compared to the surface left by a true disc plow. You called your post "Why a disc plow?" so it can make a difference as to how we respond only when we known the specific photo you are referring to. As I indicated before, the photo called "Krause plow" is not a true disc plow.

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John L.

02-16-2003 17:19:21
206.50.48.153



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 Re: Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to ron in MN, 02-16-2003 13:25:29  
I enjoyed the disc plow comments. Back in the 50's we used a 4 disc Moline "disc breaking plow" and was happy with the way it worked in dry, hard soil. It would plow about as deep as you could pull it. Each large disc was mounted on a single foot and layed back at the top allowing the bottom of the disc to really take the soil. These were generally heavy plows and would rarely jump out of the furrow.
We pulled the plow with a UTU Moline and many times had a guide on the tractor so that the tractor could be used during the night as we slept. The guide consisted of two large, dull edge discs that ran parallel to each other and were pointed slightly in at the front so that they fought to stay in the plowed furrow. A disc breaking plow caused a large deep furrow and the guide was particularly suited to this use. The two discs guided a rolling colter that followed them and this colter was attached to a shaft that connected to the front wheels of the tractor, and when the colter moved left, the tractor wheels were turned left as well. If the guiding discs hit something or jumped out of the furrow, it would jacknife with the colter and would short the tractor's ignition out, killing the tractor. The engine was equipped with Murphy gauges that monitored the water temperature and oil pressure and would interrupt the ignition if danger threatened the engine. We also tied a rope onto the coil wire and ran it back and fastened it on the plow so that in the event the hitch pin failed, the tractor would be killed and not go around the field and run onto the plow. In the late evening we would service and fuel the tractor and plow and prepare to run it that night. I would place the tractor in gear and run the throttle full up and engage the clutch. If everything was running well, I would then jump off the tractor. I tripped once and fell but crawled fast and the plow didn't get me.
It was fun to lay in bed and hear the tractor as it made its round. We didn't run the lights and so we could see it. Sometimes if we couldn't hear it, we would start tracking it down driving along side the furrow until we found it. Even with all the safety precautions we took, sometimes they failed and the tractor contined with various results. We had a friends make about 5 or 6 circles in our new hardtop road before it ran out of gas.

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Loren

02-16-2003 14:14:09
206.228.213.237



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 Re: Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to ron in MN, 02-16-2003 13:25:29  
Yes, I was referring to the Krause plow picture. I guess I am not sure why it is not a true disc plow. It is a plow and it does use discs, not mold boards, so that would make it a .......?



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ron in MN

02-17-2003 14:58:12
216.114.212.196



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-16-2003 14:14:09  
Loren, Just in case you return here for another look, may I suggest you look at Bob's entry under the "Comments" area of the Krause plow photo in the Help Identify section. His description of the different types of plows is the best I've seen and I agree with him completely as I stated in my entry there. If I was knowledgeable in posting photos, I'd post a photo of a true disc plow, but for now photo-posting is beyond my know how.

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ron in MN

02-14-2003 13:50:32
216.114.212.138



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
Are you referring to the picture named "Krause Plow"? If so, Gary is the only one who has answered this correctly. The one named "Krause Plow" is actually a "one-way" plow. Disc plows are much heavier and were made to go down where the ground was too hard or rocky for a moldboard plow to be used. Real disc plows were very heavy loads. And as Gary said they leave very rough surfaces. The blades on a disc plow are individually mounted whereas on a one-way or disc harrow the blades are mounted in gangs with a common shaft. Seems there would not be a need for them anymore since the modern disc rippers can do anything a disc plow could do.

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Lee

02-15-2003 01:45:51
63.163.156.142



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 Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to ron in MN, 02-14-2003 13:50:32  
I'll have to disagree with the last half of your last sentence. A one-way is the _only_ implement that can take inches of debris and totally, completely bury it with no trace left on the surface. Any thing else just kinda half covers it and mixes it in some.

The reason they were used to start with would be economy - they were cheap to build and sell. The reason they are no longer used is due to the fact that they took earth 4 inches deep and flipped it over exposing some very wet soil to the drying winds. Hard to make it farming when you throw your water away like that. People did better with sweeps, rod weeders, etc. and the one-way fell out of favor - rightly or wrongly, it was also blamed for the dirty 30's. At least that's how it was here on the edge of the wheat belt.

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MIKE HANLEY

02-14-2003 17:23:51
209.206.211.159



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 Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to ron in MN, 02-14-2003 13:50:32  
In my old text book dated 1955 all the types mentioned are pictured under DISC PLOWS. A IH unit with a gang mount with 15 discs and a seeded mounted. It shows an IH and a J.D. with 3 and 4 bottoms mounted like a moldboard plow. A unit made by Schfer Plow Co. with a gang style with 13 discs. A J.D. 3PT with 3 discs mounted like a mouldboard plow on a 70 tractor. A Schafer Plow Co. for a 3PT with 6 discs mounted in a gang. A 3PT made by Baker-Barrett Plow Co. with 3 discs Mounted like a moldlboard plow. Author of the book, Harris Pearson Smith A.E. Professor Texas AG Experiment Station Registered Professional Enginer. In the mid 1960's I had to pass a written test on this book at the UofW Col Ag.

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MIKE HANLEY

02-14-2003 17:50:05
209.206.211.159



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 Re: Re: Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to MIKE HANLEY, 02-14-2003 17:23:51  
ADDITIONAL: From the bookThe disc plow was brought out in a effort to reduce friction by making a rolling bottom instead of a bottom that would slide along the furrow. It cannot be said with authority that after the extera weigth is incoorated into the plow it will have any less draft than the moldboard type. However it is adapted to conditions where the moldboard will not work such as 1) Sticky, waxy, gumbo, nonscouring soils and soils having a hardpan. 2)Dry hard soil that can not be penetrated with a moldboard. 3)Rough stony and rooty ground where a disk will ride over the rocks. 4)Peaty and leaf-mold soils where a moldboard will not turn the slice. The disc plow is used in the south and north and vety extensivly in the Southwest and semihumid regions of the Middle West. HOME WORK IS NOW DONE. CAN I NOW GO TO THE PROM?

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CJDave

02-14-2003 11:51:45
216.248.109.36



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
I'm 90% sure that my Uncle who dry-farmed grain in the foothills of California used a variation of a disc plow with seeder as was mentioned. They were looking for minimum till to preserve moisture and retard erosion. Those plows were pulled by tracked-type tractors in CA due to the slopes they had to work on. In the flatlands of Kansas they would probably have used a Model R or maybe a Wheatland Case.

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Ted/MN

02-14-2003 08:08:40
205.243.25.196



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
I talked to a farmer in Manitoba who said he used one for years with a seeder attached to it and it worked well for one pass tillage/seeding where there were no rocks. Said he pulled a drag behind to cover the seed.



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ET

02-14-2003 06:45:29
134.179.136.130



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
They seem to be used in northern NY in soils that did not scour well on moldboard plows and where the soil is shallow and you didn't want to hook into bedrock with a moldboard plow. Most farms in the shallow soils are gone now and heavy offset disks do the job better and faster.



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MIKE HANLEY

02-14-2003 06:30:11
209.206.211.76



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
Quote from my old UofWis Col of Ag book on farm machinery .Copywrite 1955. (That shows my age.) Developed in the great plains area about 1927. It was designed as primarily as a one-way disk harrow. As it use spread, farmers began to adopt it for shallow plowing. Improvements have made the tool into a popular and widely used plow. The speed of the plow should not be over 4MPH. High-speed operation increases the power requirements, causes too much pulverizing of the surface soil, and does not leave trash on the surface to prevent wind erosion. End quote. Key words here, leave trash to prevent soil erosion. Conservation tillage 50 years ahead of it's time.

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Gary

02-14-2003 06:24:51
205.188.209.141



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
That photo of a disc plow with several blades is actually a "one way" mostly used in wheatland countries. A disc PLOW was used primarily for plowing "new ground" or rocky land, etc. They would cut right through roots, etc. They left the ground terribly rough, however. We kept a John Deere three bottom we bought new in 1952 in Missouri for the new ground and also for plowing in the river bottom gumbo in the dry fall when a moldboard plow just wouldn't go in the ground. When using a 3 point hitch type, you had to fix the top link so it wouldn't push in and your draft control pick it up out of the ground

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SamH

02-14-2003 05:48:06
67.213.185.162



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 Re: Why a disc plow? in reply to Loren, 02-14-2003 04:56:31  
We used them in East Tennessee where there was lots of big growth of corn stalks, weeds, etc. on the field because they didn't drag it up like moldboard plows. They cut through it. I don't know of anybody around here who uses one now.



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