Field Plows

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by danmc, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. danmc

    danmc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    We have a JD 6403 and need to start plowing fields to prepare them for tree planting this upcoming spring - other than John Deere, does anyone know of other manufacturers?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     

  2. other manufactures for what?
     
  3. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,168

    I would assume for field plows???? Try a google search there are millions of them out there.
     
  4. jd270

    jd270 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    what kind of plow are you looking for a chiesel plow or a mollboard plow ....what kind of field are you talking about how many acers and what is in it now
     
  5. danmc

    danmc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    First let me explain that I think me and my co-workers are in over our heads with this one, and there is no one local we can hire to do it. Neither of us know much about plowing fields - let alone what type of plow we need...
    Long story short, we started a woodland management thing on the propery and need to start planting some trees. The field we are starting with is an old old cow pasture that according to our woodland manager has severe compression damage. We're not doing the entire field, just rows where the trees will be planted. I believe it is roughly ten acres...but this is just the tip of the iceberg...
     
  6. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    First off what kind of soil do you have.

    Your best bet on a plow would probably be an older 3 bottom either 14" or 16" (referred to as 3-14 or 3-16). The reason I say older is Dearborn, Ford, Ferguson and John Deere made some bulletproof plows back in teh day when they were used in everyday ag production and are much better than the ones you can buy new today. Working depth will be in the 8"-12" range. With a plow like this you'll also need a good heavy disc to work the dirt after it has dried a few days. These will produce a good finish but a plow can be a complicated piece of equipment for a newbie and a disc adds alot of compaction to the ground even as it works the dirt into seedebed quality.

    If you're wanting to fight severe compaction get a 1 shank or 2 shank subsoiler. Subsoiler's go down deep and break up the hardpan but don't do much on the surface. Depending on your soil type you might be best off with a subsoiler and a chisel plow. The subsoiler can break up the deep stuff (12"-18") and the chisel plow can work the up top stuff (up to 8"-10"). The combination would be great because you can also use your subsoiler to dig the trench to plant your trees in in a row and then either use a blade angled to turn the dirt into the trench or use a shovel and rake to push it in. Plus a chisel plow is easy for beginners, if you can also find a good field cultivator that will help produce a better finish. A 6403 should be able to handle a good heavy 6-7 shank chisel plow and a 6'-7' field cultivator with no problem.

    If the only thing you are going to do is plant the trees and leave it then the subsoiler will do everything you want to do. A moldboard plow, chisel plow, field cultivator or disc is going to mainly deal with turning your top residue under to rot into the ground. If you're going to plant the field in a cover crop such as clover or fescue I'd opt to turn it all under, plant your cover crop then plant your trees. I'd do it this way to level out your field and get rid of your high/low spots and cattle paths.

    To find these look in the local trader or go to a farm type consignment auction for the best deal.
     
  7. jd270

    jd270 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    what kind of trees will you be planting i usually plant 4 or 5 hundred red and white pines a year and mostly on old hay fields with a lot of compaction and i just dig holes and plant them i have had very good luck ..i farm around 3,000 acres i use a subsoiler to rip cornstalks but it takes around 50 hp a shank i use a 400 hp deere i have ripped ground for grape growers a plow really dosent get the compaction layer
     
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    I'm not up on tractors, but I would look into buying a rotortiller to fit your tractor. Or, hire some one with a tractor/tiller to run over the row's where the trees will be planted. I asume you are talking planting seedlings. What kind of trees??
     
  9. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    The problem with a rototiller is it will not do much to fight the compaction problem you have.
    How long was this 10 acres in pasture and how heavily was it grazed?
     
  10. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I would probably recommend a chisel plow and then go back and hit it with a disk with some sort of harrow to level it good. You could go the moldboard way which is really best since it has grass and weeds growing on it. This would turn the grass and weeds under and help them rot. The problem is one it don't sound like your working up all the field and your doing just strips. A moldboard leaves a ditch which is called a furrow which can be a nightmare to get leveled back out. Often it leaves a dip in the field. You can mess a field up really quick if you dont know what your doing using a moldboard. They are not hard to use just not near as forgiving as a chisel plow will be. The reason you dont see moldboards as much for another reason is you have to go around and around the field unless you have the flip over type plows. Problem is it can be harder to find a small chiesel plow. The rotortiller would be slow if you have much to do and not to mention it can get allot of the grass and weeds tangled up in it. If you decide to go that route be sure to mow it as low as you can first.
     

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