The chisel plough is a common tool to get deep tillage (prepared land) with limited soil disruption. The main function of this plough is to loosen and aerate the soils while leaving crop residue at the top of the soil. This plough can be used to reduce the effects of compaction and to help break up the ploughpan and hardpan. Unlike many other ploughs the chisel will not invert or turn the soil. This characteristic has made it a useful addition to no-till and low-till farming practices which attempt to maximise the erosion-prevention benefits of keeping organic matter and farming residues present on the soil surface through the year. Because of these attributes, the use of a chisel plough is considered by some to be more sustainable than other types of plough, such as the traditional mouldboard plough.
Cultivators are often similar in form to chisel ploughs, but their goals are different. Cultivator teeth work near the surface, usually for weed control, whereas chisel plough shanks work deep beneath the surface. Consequently, cultivating also takes much less power per shank than does chisel ploughing.
The chisel plough is typically set to run up to a depth of eight to twelve inches (200 to 300 mm). However some models may run much deeper. Each of the individual ploughs, or shanks, are typically set from nine inches (229 mm) to twelve inches (305 mm) apart. Such a plough can encounter significant soil drag, consequently a tractor of sufficient power and good traction is required. When planning to plough with a chisel plough it is important to bear in mind that 10 to 15 horsepower (7 to 11 kW) per shank will be required.
Most implement manufacturers offer one in their product line up. Modern high Horsepower tractors require big implements and some models re modular mounting 3 smaller attachments on a carrier frame which folds this also helps with transport. Many are now in trailed units and combined with disc and rollers as part of a tillage train designed for on pass operations.
- Case IH
- John Deere
- Labbe Rotiel
- Massey Ferguson
- Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies
- Rau Sicam
References / sources
- based on extract from Wikipedia article on ploughs.
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