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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

Farm Tools 2: Disc Harrow (Disc)

In our first blog on farm tools, we talked about how the tractor is the tool that pulls other tools.

In this blog, we are focusing on our newest piece of farm equipment at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm.

  • We are so excited to have our very own Disc Harrow at last (see pictures below)!

  • These tools come in all shapes/sizes depending on the size of the field that you have, what size tractor you have, and whether or not the ground has ever been disked before.

  • We have been searching for awhile now for a disc that is the right size and price. We have about 3 acres for us to potentially disc so we needed a small one (the whole farm is 11 acres).

  • Yes, it is used, like most farm equipment that we buy. (As usual, our neighbor, Barry, is the one who found what we were looking for.)

Pictures of Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm Disc Harrow (Disc)

When do we use a Disc at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm?

When we first starting farming here in Middletown and other places we farmed before coming here, some of the places where we wanted to plant crops had never been farmed before. In that case, we needed a disc to break through the top layer of the ground with tends to form a hard mat or crust.

  • We didn't have our own disc (or a tractor) then so our farmer-neighbor, Barry, helped us out here in Middletown, and other farmer-neighbors helped us in other locations.

As part of our sustainable agriculture practices at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm, we plant "cover crops" in between rows of edible crops and after crops have been harvested. The cover crops return nutrients to the soil such as nitrogen and they help to keep the soil from blowing away or eroding when it rains.

Partially disked farm field with cover crop resting for winter
Partially disked farm field with cover crop resting for winter
  • Since we always have some vegetation on the soil, we need to churn that up when we want to plant a new crop.

  • We also use the disc to break up the ground when we need to mix in nutrients (natural fertilizers that we get from composted cow, sheep, and horse manures and left-over materials from mushroom growers).

  • In the picture (right), you can see the difference between the area in the front part of the picture that has not been disked and the rest of the picture where it has (see the chunks of dirt).

  • The tractor pulls the disc behind it.

  • The blades of the disc rotate as they are dragged behind.

  • The rotation of the disc and the weight of the disc churns up the ground.

Coming soon... Farm Tools Part 3

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