Mouldboard Plough Vs Disc Plough: What Is The Difference?

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A mechanized manipulation of the soil to provide favorable condition for crop growth is referred to as tilling or ploughing. Soil tillage or ploughing consists of several steps such as breaking the compact surface to a certain depth and loosen the soil mass to enable the crops to penetrate and spread into the soil.

Ploughing is performed as a primary operation in farming to cut, break and invert the soil partially or completely in the process of making a seedbed. Ploughing essentially is done to open the hard upper layer of the soil and break the clods to make it suitable for sowing seeds. There are two main ploughing equipments:

  • Mouldboard Plough
  • Disc Plough  

What Is A Mouldboard Plough?

A Mouldboard plough is a basic tillage implement specifically designed to invert soil. The main Plough boards consists of a leading point that slices the soil off the base of the furrow, allowing it to be lifted up the board, which turns the soil so that it is inverted as it flows back into the furrow. Inversion can be improved with the use of skimmers, which are smaller blades that work ahead of the main plough board and scalp the topsoil into the furrow before the subsoil is folded on top by the main plough board.

Mouldboard ploughs vary in size ranging from three furrows up to 14 furrows. They can achieve the most effective inversion when setup well and conditions are ideal. Mouldboard ploughs can be one-way or reversible allowing for up-and-back ploughing. A Mouldboard plough comes in different designs and shapes to suit different types of soil conditions and crop requirement.

Components of Mouldboard Plough

A Mouldboard plough consists of mainly share, a mould board, land side, frog and tail piece.

  • Share: It is the part of the plough bottom which penetrates into the soil and makes horizontal cut below the surface.
  • Mould Board: it is the curved part which lifts, turns and pulverizes the soil.
  • Land side: it is the flat plate which presses against the furrow wall and prevents the plough from lateral swinging. The rear part of land side is referred to as heel which slides on the bottom of the furrow.
  • Frog: it is the part to which share, land side and Mouldboard are attached.
  • Tail piece: it an adjustable extension, which can be fastened to the rear of the mould board to help in turning the furrow slice.

What You Need To Know About Mouldboard Plough

  • A Mouldboard plough is a basic tillage implement. It cuts the soil slice, lifts it over the surface and inverts it, burying the surface growth and crop residues.
  • Mouldboard Plough consists of a leading point that slices the soil off the base of the furrow, allowing it to be lifted up the board, which turns the soil so that it is inverted as it flows back into the furrow.
  • A Mouldboard plough does four functions: cutting the furrow slice, lifting the furrow slice, inverting the furrow slice and pulverizing the furrow slice.
  • Mouldboard plough is forced into the soil by the suction of the plough.
  • Mouldboard ploughs vary in size ranging from three furrows up to 14 furrows.
  • Mouldboard ploughs are used where soil inversion is necessary.
  • The moldboard ploughs can be one-way or reversible allowing for up-and-back ploughing. 
  • A Mouldboard plough is used in conditions where soils have a lot of moisture; where it works better than a disc plough.
  • Mouldboard ploughs are available for animals, power tiller and tractor operation.
  • Mouldboard ploughs at a uniform depth.
  • Mouldboard plough completely inverts the soil slices hence it is good for burying manure into the soil.
  • It is rigid and easily broken by obstacles such as stones, roots, stumps etc.
  • The objective for ploughing with a Mouldboard is to completely invert and pulverize the soil, up-root all weeds, trash and crop residues and bury them under the soil.

What Is A Disc Plough?

 A standard disc plough consists of a series of individually mounted, inclined disc blades on a frame supported by wheels. These ploughs usually have from 2 to 6 disc blades, spaced to cut 18 to 30 cm per disc. The disc plough is designed to work in all types of soil for basic functions such as soil breaking, soil raising, soil turning and soil mixing. It is used to open the new fields and to process the stony areas. It can be used easily at rocky and rooted areas. It is especially useful in hard and dry trashy land conditions and soils where scouring is a major problem. A disc plough is designed with a view to reduce friction by making a rolling plough bottom instead of sliding plough bottom as in the case of Mouldboard plough.

Components Of Disc Plough

The basic components of a disc plough are beam, standard, cross-shaft, disc plough body, furrow wheel and scrapers.

  • Beam: The standards are attached to the beam with the aid of the clamps and can also be shifted on the beam when adjusting for width. Also the width of the cut and number of disc per plough can be varied.
  • Standard: This connects the disc bearing and beam. The standard is either a movable type which can then be shifted or a type with a pivoting bearing bracket at its lower end.
  • Cross-shaft: This is cranked and inclined at two ends to provide points of attachment to the tractor.
  • Plough body or bottom: This is attached to the end of the standard and consists of the concave disc and a hub assembles to which the disc is fastened with the aid of the plough bolts. It is this part of the disc plough that engages the soil.
  • Furrow Wheel: The furrow wheel may serve to counteract side pressures, hold the plough in alignment and act as a gauge wheel for ploughing depth in the case of a mounted disc plough. The trailed disc plough has two furrow wheels and one land wheel.  
  • Scraper: It is a device to remove soil that tends to stick to the working surface of a disc.

What You Need To Know About Disc Plough

  • A standard disc plough consists of a series of individually mounted, inclined disc blades on a frame supported by wheels.
  • A disc plough cuts, turns and in some cases breaks furrow slices by means of separately mounted large steel concave discs. In action, the discs cut the soil, break it and push it sideways.
  • Disc plough is forced into the soil by its own weight.
  • Disc ploughs usually have from 2 to 6 disc blades, spaced to cut 18 to 30 cm per disc.  
  • There is little inversion of furrow slice as well as little burying of weeds and trashes compared to Mouldboard plough.
  • The disc plough is designed to work in all types of soil for functions such as soil breaking, soil raising, soil turning and soil mixing.
  • Disc plough is specifically useful in hardy and dry trashy land conditions and in soils where scouring is a major problem and in loose push type soil such as peat lands.
  • It is used to open the new fields and to process the stony areas.
  • Disc plough, cuts at a varying depth.
  • It is not easily get broken by obstacles as it rides over them.
  • Disc plough works well even after a considerable part of the disc is worn out in abrasive soils.

Also Read: Difference Between Soil Structure And Soil Texture

Difference Between Mouldboard Plough And Disc Plough In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MOULDBOARD PLOUGH DISC PLOUGH
Description A Mouldboard plough is a basic tillage implement. It cuts the soil slice, lifts it over the surface and inverts it, burying the surface growth and crop residues. A standard disc plough consists of a series of individually mounted, inclined disc blades on a frame supported by wheels.  
How It Works Mouldboard Plough consists of a leading point that slices the soil off the base of the furrow, allowing it to be lifted up the board, which turns the soil so that it is inverted as it flows back into the furrow. A disc plough cuts, turns and in some cases breaks furrow slices by means of separately mounted large steel concave discs. In action, the discs cut the soil, break it and push it sideways.  
Functions Cutting the furrow slice, lifting the furrow slice, inverting the furrow slice and pulverizing the furrow slice. Soil breaking, soil raising, soil turning and soil mixing.
Application It is not used in a field with obstacles/cannot ride over stones, roots. Used in a field with obstacles because it rolls over, roots, stumps and stones.
Soil Cutting Mouldboard plough is forced into the soil by the suction of the plough.   Disc plough is forced into the soil by its own weight.  
Number Of Blades Mouldboard ploughs vary in size ranging from three furrows up to 14 furrows.   Disc ploughs usually have from 2 to 6 disc blades, spaced to cut 18 to 30 cm per disc.   
Use Mouldboard ploughs are used where soil inversion is necessary.   It is used to open the new fields and to process stony areas.  
Suitability A Mouldboard plough is used in conditions where soils have a lot of moisture; where it works better than a disc plough.   Disc plough is specifically useful in hardy and dry trashy land conditions and in soils where scouring is a major problem and in loose push type soil such as peat lands.  
Cutting Mouldboard ploughs at a uniform depth.   Disc plough, cuts at a varying depth.  
Inversion It inverts furrow slice completely/leaves a clean field.   Does not invert furrow slice completely/leaves a rough field.
Breakage It is rigid and easily broken by obstacles such as stones, roots, stumps etc.   It is not easily get broken by obstacles as it rides over them.  
Working It does not work well even after a considerable part of the disc is worn out in abrasive soils.   Disc plough works well even after a considerable part of the disc is worn out in abrasive soils.

Advantages Of Disc Plough Over Mouldboard Plough

  • A disc plough can be forced to penetrate into the soil which is too hard and dry for working with a Mouldboard plough.
  • It is more useful for deep ploughing.
  • It works well in sticky soils in which a Mouldboard plough does not scour.
  • It can be used safely in rough, stony and stumpy soils without much danger of breakage.
  • A disc plough works well even after a considerable part of the disc is worn out in abrasive soils.
  • It works well in loose soils such as peat without clogging.
  • The maintenance cost is low, as there are no shares to replace or sharpen as compared to Mouldboard ploughs.

Advantage Of Mouldboard Plough Over Disc Plough

  • It cuts, lifts, break up and loosen soil that has been compacted through machinery traffic or natural causes.
  • It buries most of the surface vegetation. This is useful when developing new arable fields in grasslands or burying crop residues, weeds and insects pests.
  •  If well-adjusted, the plough automatically finds the required depth and there is no need to apply extra weight to reach desired depth.
  • It breaks the heavy clods in the soil and gives it a smooth structure.