NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Plough  (Read 9105 times)

waterhouse

  • Guest
Plough
« on: June 02, 2011, 06:10:57 pm »
I'm going to have to re-seed some pasture fairly soon and am thinking of ploughing out the old turf.  I know nothing about ploughing so will need to get one.

I'm assuming I want a two furrow plough for a couple of acres with a 30hp tractor?  Do I really need to have a reversible plough since I'm not entering a competition?  What ploughs are favourite and should any be avoided?

eBay has lots of restoration projects which I'm not into so what am I looking for?
Voss Electric Fence

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Plough
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 07:29:41 pm »
When we bought our tractor an old ransomes 2 furrow plough came with it as part of the deal. I know absolutely nothing about ploughing. I have no idea how to properly set up a plough and I'd never ploughed before. Nevertheless I stuck the plough on the back of the tractor and gave it a go. It worked fine. Probably wouldn't have won any prizes but the land got ploughed and nobody was killed or injured. Old hands would probably say I've done all sorts of things wrong but it doesn't matter.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Plough
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 11:32:12 am »
When we bought our tractor an old ransomes 2 furrow plough came with it as part of the deal. I know absolutely nothing about ploughing. I have no idea how to properly set up a plough and I'd never ploughed before. Nevertheless I stuck the plough on the back of the tractor and gave it a go. It worked fine. Probably wouldn't have won any prizes but the land got ploughed and nobody was killed or injured. Old hands would probably say I've done all sorts of things wrong but it doesn't matter.
Absolutely  :)
We have a single furrow non-reversible plough but I wouldn't want to plough a couple of acres with it.  We use it for small areas of not bigger than 1/4 acre.  Turn one furrow, reverse back and do the next and so on - very tedious but fine for small areas. Make sure you turn the sod right over so the grass will die off, none left on the surface.
Ploughing is one thing for which we would still ask a neighbour for help (paid) if we had a couple of acres to do, as they have a big 6 furrow plough and could whizz through it in a very short time, and do it well.
The other thing you can do instead of ploughing up the whole thing is to disc harrow it or similar (something to cut through the grass roots) then handspread a seed mix.  We did this on 2 and a bit acres and it has made it wonderful, with plenty of clover and more palateable grasses, without ever having to take the sheep off.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Crofter

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Isle of Lewis
  • We'll get there!
    • Ravenstar
Re: Plough
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 08:21:40 am »
We use a 2 furrow 10 inch ferguson plough on the back of a TEF 20. Plenty of power for 2 furrows. If you're buying a 2nd hand plough you'll probably find it's been set up on a similar sized tractor to yours so should only need minor tweaking, if any adjustment at all.

Good luck

Dave
Comfortable B&B on a working Croft on the Isle of Lewis. www.Ravenstar.co.uk

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Plough
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 03:56:52 pm »
Turn one furrow, reverse back and do the next and so on - very tedious but fine for small areas.

The other thing you can do instead of ploughing up the whole thing is to disc harrow it or similar (something to cut through the grass roots) then handspread a seed mix.

Why wouldn't you plough one side of the field and return on the other.  Or start in the middle and work outwards?  I watched the guy with his six row reversible do the field opposite and marvel at his tidiness but he's on a different scale and I'm not into creating artwork.

I tried disc harrowing earlier this year but the discs mostly wouldn't cut though the turf even after the glyphosate had killed the grass.  We're on clay then alluvial (I think that's what OH said) and the grass changes dramatically at the bottom of the slope.  

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Plough
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 12:08:52 am »
Yes of course you could do it that way if the shape of your field fitted.  Our little bits are narrow, with windbreaks of coppice between them, so no room to turn. When you are ploughing a larger field, the patterns and neatness are a way of giving your brain something to do  :D You can ponder fuel consumption for the different patterns, least distance travelled, least time taken to do the lot, moving earth up or down a slope, whether to have the 'joining furrows' in the middle turning to meet eachother or away from eachother, which way round to go to do the headlands most efficiently....

Turn one furrow, reverse back and do the next and so on - very tedious but fine for small areas.

The other thing you can do instead of ploughing up the whole thing is to disc harrow it or similar (something to cut through the grass roots) then handspread a seed mix.

Why wouldn't you plough one side of the field and return on the other.  Or start in the middle and work outwards?  I watched the guy with his six row reversible do the field opposite and marvel at his tidiness but he's on a different scale and I'm not into creating artwork.

I tried disc harrowing earlier this year but the discs mostly wouldn't cut though the turf even after the glyphosate had killed the grass.  We're on clay then alluvial (I think that's what OH said) and the grass changes dramatically at the bottom of the slope.  

www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Plough
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 09:31:26 am »
You are writing as one who's done this a few times....!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Plough
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 09:58:17 am »
I grew up on a farm so yes, but nowadays it's my OH who mostly likes to play on the tractors  ;D  I get my fill at hay baling which is somehow always my job  :farmer:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

si-mate

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Kent
Re: Plough
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 11:38:58 am »
A 2 furrow Ferguson plough would be your best bet (non reversible). Plenty on ebay for around £100, but make sure all the parts are present and have plenty of metal left as a cheap plough can soon become an expensive plough if it's worn out and you have to replace most of the soil moving parts.
It's well worth finding someone to help you set it up as you will then end up with a more level finish which you will be thankful for every time you drive over it

 

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