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Plowing depth?

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NewOldFarmer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:14 pm    Post subject: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi all, Since I am new to actually farming on my own, (I grew up working on farms and living between several until I joined the Army) I have a question about plowing. I have watched various videos of tractors plowing, and although I now realize my Oliver plow is a bit heavy for my 8N, I plan to get a Dearborn as well and plant some corn in the spring. Now I am just doing this as a hobby, (I have already retired once and plan to do so again shortly), but always wanted my own farm. For now I am gathering up the equipment I will need, and learning how to best use it. I don't need to make a living off my farm, but I don't need to go broke either.
On some of the videos I see guys Plowing with the Plows completely in the ground, (the Share is completely buried to the top, and I see some where they appear to be only going to about 10 inches. My old farm hasn't been farmed in at least 30 years, (maybe more) I grew up in the area and I don't EVER remember those fields being plowed/planted and I am 52 now. I have tested the soil and it is some really good soil so I think it should do well as far as yield goes. Also, my farm is on top of a Mountain/ridge with a slow slope going down to the woods so drainage in the main fields is pretty good. The ground does not appear to be too stony, (of course I will find out when I start plowing), so what is the determining factor on depth? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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flying belgian
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well there are many opinions on how deep to plow. General rule of thumb is -plow half as deep as your plow bottom with. ie. 14" bottom=7" deep...16" bottom=8" deep. Now that being said, some guys will plow less then that as their tractor can't pull their plow that deep(traction or power or both) My Uncle only plowed deep enough so the ground would turn over. His thinking was -it just burns alot of fuel and there is nothing down that deep that I want on top. He always raised excellent crops so he might have had a good theory. If you look around there are very few people who still use a moldboard plow. Some are 100% notil and some are mintill. They all raise good crops. So the moral of the story is--it don't make much difference.
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

6 or 8 plenty I go deeper in old ground but that?s just me
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As mentioned, aiming for about 1/2 the depth of the bottom width is a good starting point. That is the sweet spot of what the bottom was efficiently designed for.

You can go deeper but that takes more power.

You can go shallower easily.

In dry dirt the plow will want to ride shallower especially clays. Nothing wrong with shallow if it?s accomplishing your goals, saves fuel.

If you need to cover under a lot of plant growth going shallow is difficult you need to plan on at least average depth.

In peat muck soft ground the plow will want to dig to China hard to keep it shallow.

As mentioned, not just one way just accomplish the goal, maybe shallow maybe deep. About 7-8 inches might be a good start for most days.

Paul
 
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rrlund
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It'll take a few crop years to get that ground mellowed out. First time plowing old sod it'll pull plenty hard,so you might have to go a little shallow. I wouldn't get a different plow if the Oliver you have is a two bottom 14 inch or less. Actually Oliver built plows for Ford off and on from the Fordson days all the way up to the end. Not all Ford plows were Oliver,that's not what I'm saying,but some were. Oliver was one of the easiest pulling plows there ever was.
 
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Alvin 41
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

No tillers are usually trying to get their soil back to condition you may already have. I've planted old pastures and just sprayed the weeds with good results.Check out all the no till advise.
 
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NewOldFarmer
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice! I always thought that 6-8 inches was about what you would want, and in the videos I have watched with guys pulling "Deep" they always show the tractor having a lot of trouble... Which is what caused me to pose the question in the first place. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I like the Tilling, harrows planting and cultivating... maybe it will get old after awhile, but I am really looking forward to it. I also want to stay away from chemicals as much as possible, because I raise Honey Bees, and where I live there aren't a whole lot of people farming anymore so there isn't a lot of spraying and the bees seem to be thriving. My main concern right now is of course the winter, and then the Bears...
Thanks again for all the advice!
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Farming will never get old trust me!







 
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504
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There has not been a plow on this place in close to 30 years. One pass with a planter or drill. In about 30 days spray Roundup and wait for fall. Well, you will need some fertilizer too.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It?s been 8 years since I?ve seen dirt that dry, haven?t seen any dry dirt in 4 years. I know it can be tough farming in a drought in a dry area, but man some hard lumpy dry dirt looks nice after the mess we have worked with the past 4 years.

I just bought a plow for my new to me tractor this summer, it was so wet last fall I didn?t get a chance to use it. We just kept chisel plowing any hour it would work in the snow and mid we had, finished up one afternoon and the next forenoon I was getting out the snow blower had 6 inches on the ground, there were zero extra hours to set up and play with my new to me plow.

Paul
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

To much moisture is just as bad as not enough we just don?t see to much that often were actually pretty lucky we usually get what we need but we have some really dry times of the year
 
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grandpa Love
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:28 am    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

NewOld Farmer, I sent you an email. Here is a little video of my dad plowing my garden. It's great fun.
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grandpa Love
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Best thing we bought for the garden was this level-all. Does every bit as nice as a tiller.
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:17 am    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I need to make one of those 16 feet wide
 
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JL2510
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Plowing depth? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'm with the other guys. I've always heard half the width of cut. I've only plowed a handful of times but I seriously could of stayed out there all day.

I decided a while ago that if I ever won the lottery I'd do exactly what your planning on doing. (Although I dont play the lottery, ha!)
 
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