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A un-restored trailed plough (make unknown) typical of what turns up at farm and machinery Auctions

A Balance plough used with Steam ploughing engines at work (Holcot Steam Rally)

A modern 5-furrow reversible plough

A RABE reversible plough fitted with special bodies

The plough (Plow in American spelling:) is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture. The primary purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil, and allows it to hold moisture better. In modern use, a ploughed field is typically left to dry out, and is then harrowed before planting.

Ploughs were initially pulled by oxen, and later in many areas by horses. In industrialised countries, the first mechanical means of pulling a plough used steam-power (ploughing engines or steam tractors), but these were gradually superseded by internal-combustion-powered tractors. In the past two decades plough use has reduced in some areas (where soil damage and erosion are problems), in favour of shallower ploughing and other less invasive tillage techniques.

Ploughs are even used under the sea, for the laying of cables.

There are various types of plough, and these have evolved to suit the increasing size of modern tractors, and the demand to increase productivity (higher acreage / hour).


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Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Plough. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia