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Plough

A Brief Introduction
The plough is a farm tool or implement used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It consists of a heavy blade at the end of a beam, usually hitched to a draft team or motor vehicle and used for breaking up soil and cutting furrows in preparation for sowing. For centuries, this basic instrument has been widely used for farming and soil preparation. It presents 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. Now a days a ploughed field is typically left to dry out, and is then harrowed before planting.

Initially ploughs were pulled by oxen and horses. Today ploughing is done by means tractors. Ploughs are even used under the sea, for the laying of cables, as well as preparing the earth for side-scan sonar in a process used in oil exploration.

 

Etymology
The word 'plough' originates from Germanic, but it appears after a long time in English. It is thought to be a loanword from one of the north Italic languages. In these it had different meanings: in Raetic plaumorati (Pliny), and in Latin plaustrum "wagon, cart", plostrum, plostellum "cart", and ploxenum, ploximum "cart box".

Specialist Ploughs:
Since variety of crops needs different types of treatment, there are several ploughs which are designed for performing specific tasks. Some of them are:

 
  • Chisel Plough: It is one of the most common tools used by farmers to get deep tillage. The main function of this plough is to loosen and aerate the soils while leaving crop residue at the top of the soil. Unlike many other ploughs the chisel will not invert or turn the soil.
  • Ridging Plough:This type of plough is used for crops, such as potatoes, which are grown buried in ridges of soil. A ridging plough has two mouldboards facing away from each other, cutting a deep furrow on each pass, with high ridges either side.
  • Mole Plough:* The mole plough or subsoiler allows underdrainage to be installed without trenches, or it breaks up deep impermeable soil layers which impede drainage.
 
 
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