The Old Plough

Outside the Old Dairy apartment.Old plough outside the old dairy apartment

The history of this single furrow horse drawn plough is not known, however it’s been on the farm as long as I can recall.

The primary purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds, the remains of previous crops, and both crop and weed seeds, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil, allows it to hold moisture better and provides a seed-free medium for planting an alternate crop. In modern use, a ploughed field is typically left to dry out, and is then harrowed before planting. Modern competitions take place for ploughing enthusiasts like the National Ploughing Championships. Ploughs were initially pulled by oxen, and later in many areas by horses (generally draught horses) and mules. In industrialised countries, the first mechanical means of pulling a plough were steam-powered (ploughing engines or steam tractors), but these were gradually superseded by internal-combustion-powered tractors. In the past two decades plough use has reduced in some areas (where soil damage and erosion are problems), in favour of shallower ploughing and other less invasive tillage techniques.

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