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Disking Techniques for Farm Tractors

By Mike Schoonveld
Disks are one of the most important tools farmers use to grow their crops.

Farmers rely on a variety of equipment to till and plant their fields. The disk was one of the earliest agricultural implements devised and has remained an important tillage tool on just about every farm. A disk can perform a variety of important tasks, depending on the technique being used to put it to work.

Tillage

You can use a disk as your primary tillage tool in many soil types for a variety of crops. Allow the disk to ride as low in the soil as it will go to cut through sod or crop residue left from the previous growing season. One or two passes will sufficiently turn and stir the soil to make it ready for seeding.

Leveling

There are many reasons a field can become lumpy or cut with furrows. The disk is a great tool to level them out and make them easier to farm and more productive. Adjust the amount of weight the disk is applying by raising or lowering the wheels as you disk across an uneven field. Disk lightly the areas that are flat and level. Raise the wheels higher to allow more of the disk’s weight to cut into the soil on lumpy or deeply scarred areas.

Clod Busting

Heavy, wet soils, particularly those with a large amount of clay content, often form into large clods of dirt after being plowed. One or two passes across the field with a disk will break those large clods into soil friable enough to be seeded.

Herbicide Incorporation

Weed-preventing herbicides need to be mixed into the soil to work. A disk is the perfect incorporation tool. A rule of thumb -- if the herbicide label suggests this -- is incorporating the product in the top two inches of soil. Set the disk so its blades are cutting four inches deep.

 

About the Author

 

Mike Schoonveld has been writing since 1989 with magazine credits including "Outdoor Life," "Fur-Fish-Game," "The Rotarian" and numerous regional publications. Schoonveld earned a Master Captain License from the Coast Guard. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife science from Purdue University.