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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment