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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Re: Chisel plow vs Moldboard plow

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Author  [Modern View]
MF Poor

08-06-2012 10:37:26
72.4.0.230



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IMHO, there is no standard answer to that question. However, there are some generalities that apply to moldboard plowing and chisel plowing.

Moldboard plowing is more likely to leave you with a "plow pan". That's a compaction layer at or just below the depth you plow. It buries crop residue more completely, which isn't a bad thing in some instances, but leaves fall plowed ground more susceptible to erosion (wind/water) Moldboard plowing does a slightly better job of weed control.

Chisel plowing leaves a bit more crop residue on the surface to hold soil in place during winter months. Many chisel plows are designed to run a bit deeper than a moldboard plow. In my part of the country, chisel plows became popular in the mid '70's. They were touted as a way of reliving compaction and improving soil drainage.

Results may vary with soil type, individual practices with plows/chisel plows, brand/type of chisel plow, and all your other farming practices.

Around these parts, BOTH types of plows are now used to anchor blackberry briars in fence rows since no till has been found to improve soil structure AND increase yields in our soils and climate. 20+ years without ANY tillage on my place. We're in the heart of the drought. No tilled corn is surviving the drought MUCH better here.

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