Friday, February 28, 2014

Moldboard Plow Parts

Over the years, such farming offenses as improper adjustment, overuse and poor timing have given the moldboard plow an undeservedly bad rap. This is unfortunate, for when it comes to returning fallow land to farmable condition, the moldboard often plays the starring role. Few devices match its talent for burying sod and trash in preparation for shallow discing.

The concave shape of the moldboard allows it to lift, shear and bend soil into smaller, more manageable blocks. While this plow will either loosen soil or perform a complete 180-degree inversion, the characteristics of its various parts will determine its precise method of operation.

The Share

Positioned at the bottom of the moldboard, the downward-pointing tip of this cutting blade generates a suction that pulls the plow into the dirt. However, moldboard plow shares need to be sharp to complete their work. Both regrinding and replacement allow you to get the right performance from the share. Since the share attaches to the frog with countersunk bolts, changeovers should not be a problem. Regrinding is an affordable option, however,  shares may rust and warp over time, prompting a replacement.

Share Bottoms

The bottom of the share will vary according to its intended use. Most commonly found are:

Stubble Bottom - Instead of simply pushing the soil aside, the relatively short and stumpy design of this share will turn it over completely.

Sod Bottom - The slim, elongated shape of the sod bottom turns the slice no further than necessary to keep it from falling back into the groove.

Slat Bottom - This style works well in heavy, mucky soils that tend to adhere to the moldboard.

Breaker Bottom - While it excels at turning stiff and heavy soil, the narrow, protracted and sloping configuration of the breaker bottom does little to pulverize it.

General Bottom - As its name implies, this hybrid of the sod and stubble bottoms will do the job under a wide range of conditions.

Other Moldboard Components

While the share does most of the dirty work, other moldboard plow parts are critical to the moldboard plow’s operation. They include:

Shins - Positioned vertically in front of the moldboard, this separate cutting edge works to shear the wall of the furrow. It is not always present.

Landsides - By running along the furrow wall, this piece stabilizes the plow's horizontal movement.

Frog - This serves as a frame to connect the share, the shin and the landside through the standard to the beam.

Trashboard - The trashboard, as its name may suggest, plays a role in helping to bury trash in preparation for seeding and shallow tillage.

• The higher-end moldboard plow may additionally employ a jointer to deflect manure and other detritus toward the bottom or a rolling coulter to pulverize heavy residue and smooth the face of the furrow.

What the Moldboard Plow Cannot Do

The slicing, lifting, fracturing and inversion capabilities of the moldboard plow allow it to create a clean seedbed by:

•    Burying trash completely.
•    Aerating the soil.
•    Controlling insects, pests and weeds.
•    Incorporating lime and manure.

However, some perennial weeds like briars, horse nettle, nut sedge and Bermuda grass come equipped with roots so deep that no amount of plowing will control them. It is vital to eradicate these pests with a systemic herbicide before you attempt to plow.

In addition, no moldboard plow will ever prepare the soil finely enough for subsequent planting. After its use, one or more passes with a field cultivator will be essential.

There are times when only a moldboard plow will do the job. However, it is important not only to keep it adjusted but also to limit its use to once every two or three years. Those who employ it sensibly will find that nothing beats its ability to prepare a fallow field for planting.

Buying Moldboard Plow Parts & Tillage Tools

Wearparts LLC offers a full selection of moldboard plow parts including shins, shares, trashboards and landsides; as well as a variety of tillage tools including disc blades, coulters and fertilizer knives. Call us at 1-888-4-BLADES to learn more about how we can help you find the right tillage tools for your needs. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fertilizer Knives

The invention of fertilizer knives gave farmers the ability to apply fertilizers of all types below the surface of the soil. These agricultural knives cut grooves to whatever depth is preferred for fertilizing a particular crop. The knives mount to a toolbar, coulter or other equipment made for cultivating or seeding. Most fertilizer knives bolt into place. Some include an extension arm or adapter.

Each knife has one or two attached tubes, usually made of rubber or steel, to which the farmer can connect fertilizer hoses. Pneumatic pressure often is used to push the fertilizer from the fertilizer tank through the hoses and into the ground. The rate of application can be set by adjusting pressure.

For small plots, farmers sometimes use squeeze pumps instead of pneumatic pressure to send liquid fertilizer through the tubes attached to the fertilizer knives. Occasionally, belt cones are used to move granular fertilizer through the tubes. Dry fertilizers also may be distributed from auger-style fertilizer boxes through fertilizer knife tubes into the soil at depths chosen by the operator.

How to Select the Right Fertilizer Knife

Before deciding what type of fertilizer knife will work best, determine whether to use gaseous, liquified or granular fertilizer to nourish your crops. Individual components of your fertilizing system will vary according to fertilizer type. One difference will be the diameter of the hoses and the tubes they attach to that are mounted on the fertilizer knives.

Consider the type and condition of the soil where the fertilizer knives will be used. The shape of the knife determines the type of cut that it makes. If you are planting and fertilizing in previously undisturbed soil where the climate is quite dry, you want fertilizer knives that disturb as little of the soil cover as possible so that moisture is held. Fertilizer knives that make a sharp, clean cut and are shaped to immediately return the dirt to cover the cut once the fertilizer is released work well under such conditions.

If you want to fertilize at the same time that you plant, you need a system with knives that provide for the fertilizer to be distributed a bit to the side of the seeds and slightly deeper in the soil. One common practice is to distribute fertilizer two inches to the side and two inches deeper than the seed. Some systems use a wide wheel that trails behind the seed and fertilizer knives to automatically close the trenches.

Think about the wear and deterioration that occurs regarding the fertilizer tubes that are attached to, or mounted on, the knives. Common choices in tubes are rubber, carbon steel and stainless steel. Differences exist in how the ends of the tubes are shaped and the wear they sustain. Look for designs that provide tube protection and minimize plugging.

Because fertilizer knives are exposed to difficult conditions including weather, chemicals and surface obstacles, you may want to compare costs of purchasing and replacing throwaway knives with investing in knives that use replaceable tips or toes. Fertilizer knives are made of varying strengths and durability. Some are hard surfaced at wear points. Wear surfaces of cast chrome alloy, carbide or boron steel take more abuse than those made solely of carbon steel.

Expert Advice a Phone Call Away

If you have questions or would like to know more, call Wearparts LLC at 1-888-4-BLADES or visit our web site at Our knowledgeable staff can guide you to the right fertilizer knife for your needs. We offer a full range of tillage tools including disc blades, coulter blades, ADU unit parts and more!

Wearparts LLC boron steel gives our knives the toughness they need to cut through packed soils. These knives hold their shape, keep an edge and last longer than those made of conventional steel. Our knives fit agricultural equipment built by several major manufacturers, and we can adapt them to fit customized designs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Air Seeder Blades

Air drills are used to deposit seeds into the soil of farms of all sizes. In the United States, these devices are primarily utilized to plant cotton, corn, canola, rice and beans. The most important component of an air seed drill machine is the air seeder blade, which allows the drill to implant seeds into the soil.

The Blade's Size

The larger the disc's diameter is, the higher the number of seeds that the equipment will be able to release. A blade that is very heavy and thick will be capable of depositing the grain in a much deeper part of the ground than a thin, lightweight disc. Most new blades have a diameter that is between 12 inches and 42 inches.

In order to ensure that all of the crops are able to evenly extract a similar amount of water and nutrients from the soil, you should use sets of blades that have an identical size and weight.

The Benefits of Smaller Blades

Using a relatively compact seed drill blade allows for cutting through moist dirt and tightly packed soil, and these smaller blades are able to plant seeds at a moderate depth more swiftly than their large counterparts.

Tinier blades provide a better angle when slicing through the thick dirt, and they have a reduced level of downward pressure and come into contact with less soil while they are spinning.

Soil Moisture

If you are planting crops on a field that has been recently used to grow a key plant, such as wheat or corn, the reserves of moisture in the soil will be located in a much deeper part of the ground than the water that is in an area that has rarely been farmed. You’ll need to adjust your air seeder machinery to cut deeper in order to utilize the moisture in these soils.

The Material of the Blade

Boron steel is substantially harder than regular steel, yet it is more lightweight than most types of heavy-duty metal. This allows for a longer wear life, with superior penetration and cutting performance.

Replacing the Blade

When the blade wears and has lost a half of an inch of its diameter, you should replace it. Many people focus only on the equipment's size and forget that a tattered blade is much less sharp than newer devices.

The Number of Blades

When using plowshares that feature many single blades, a farmer will have a reduced chance of depositing all of the kernels at the same depth because each of the blades will wear at a different rate. Devices that feature numerous sets of double blades will be able to plant the seeds much more evenly because the seeds will be constantly arranged by every set of devices, and the blades will become dull more slowly. Disc openers, disc blades, air seeder blades and other tillage tools should be replaced at the same time in the same pattern – much like the way tires on an automobile are replaced – to ensure even wear and the best tillage results.

Getting Started

Whether you're looking for blades that feature prominent notches, smooth discs that can be added to machines of all types or devices that have a custom degree of concavity, you should visit, or you can call our business at 1-888-425-2337.

Weaparts LLC offers free shipping for purchases that have a cost of more than $2,000, and if you fill out the form on our site, we can provide you with a customized price quote for any order within 24 hours. From disc blades to chisel plow sweeps and air drill blades, we offer everything you need for successful tillage.