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Why the Plough is Here to Stay

21 October 2013

AUSTRIA – Arable farmers have been advised that, if used correctly, the plough will not become obsolete.

The plough will continue to be a valued implement to specific sites as farmers strive to support soil structure and conserve water, says the Austrian Land Chamber.

However, deep ploughing requires energy and for every centimetre of furrow depth, another litre of fuel per hectare is consumed.

The Chamber added that wet soils present further issues of compaction.

Advantages centre on the intensive inversion action of the plough as a method of burying straw, trash and pests, although the chamber advises a maximum depth of 25 cm.

Appropriate ploughing can benefit soil structure and creates pores in the soil profile that provide oxygen – important in wet areas where oxygen becomes a limiting factor.

What Can I Achieve With the Plough?

  • Incorporate crop residues to promote straw decomposition
  • Bury weeds and regulate pests
  • Decompact soil and loosen top soil
  • Create a porous soil profile and offer root permeable space for plants
  • Improve gas exchange and water absorption ability
  • Mix soil horizons, helping nutrient availability


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