Machine for Tillage

Agricultural Engineering is the application of the knowledge, techniques and disciplines of various fields of Engineering to the solution of the problem arising in the fields of agriculture and rural living with the object to improve agricultural productivity per worker. India has her own image as far as old traditional desi or indigenous implements are concerned. These indigenous implements vary in shapes, sizes, and constructions from state to state.


In India mainly three types of ploughs are used under primary tillage equipment, the desi (indigenous) plough, mould board and disc ploughs of western origin. The desi ploughs have common design, but differs from one state to other in shape and size depending upon the soil, climatic condition and size of the bullocks used in the particular area. It is fully wooden plough except the share made of harden steel, but in some parts of the country it is fully made of metal.

It consists of long beam, which varies from 3 to 5m in length, broader end connected with handle by means of wadges and narrow/ end has clevis with holes or pegs, for depth adjustment. Lower broader end of handle is connected to plough bottom and consists of a triangular tongue, with metallic share 60-cm long, 2.5 cm in thickness. The share is held by shackle and tongue by wedges. The working draft varies from 27 to 148 kg.

Mould Board Ploughs

Although the mould board plough is one of the oldest of all the agricultural implements in western countries, its use in India dates back to the later part of the eighteenth century when the Britishers imported these ploughs to improve Indian Agriculture. These ploughs are suitable in areas where there is sufficient rainfall to produce a good crop. In such areas there is usually a heavy weed growth, which need to be turned under. It is also used for turning and mixing compost, farmyard manure or lime in the soil.

Surface and subsoiler ploughs

Under this category comes special ploughs named as chiesel plough, subsoiler plough, and giant plough.

Chiesel plough is having rigid curved or straight shank or standard of nickel-alloy heat-treated spring steel. The standards are arranged on heavy frames in two or three staggered rows on rubber tyres. The width varies from 1.5 to 13.7 m and depth 10 cm to 45.7 cm. The spacing between shank varies from 30.5 to 91 cm.

Subsoiler ploughs are built heavier than chiesel ploughs working depth ranges from 50-8 to 91.4 cm. The standard is generally long and narrow with a heavy, wedge like point.

Giant ploughs are used in areas where good land is covered by blow sand or flood deposits. These giant ploughs are used to bring on top the good soil from the depth of (61.0-cm to 180 cm) and lay it on top of the sand. Generally one or two crawler tractors are used to pull these ploughs.

Disk Ploughs

Disk ploughs were introduced to reduce friction by making a rolling bottom, and recommended for sticky, waxy, hard, rough, stony, rooty, peaty and leaf mold soils. The weight ranges from 30 to 540 kg per disk. There are two types of disk ploughs available, standard disk plough common in India and vertical disk plough or harrow plough outside India. It consists of disk 45 cm to 80 cm in diameter and radius of curvature from 45 to 68 cm, bolted to cast iron supports on tapered roller bearing, which individually suspended from the main frame. Each plough disk rotates on its axis, and have a separate scraper, supported on the frame. A furrow wheel, which is provided for balancing the plough from soil, said trust. Tractor mounted disk plough may be mounted type, semi-mounted and integral mounted type, depending upon size and number of disks. Single bottom disk plough for bullocks are also common in India, which is mounted on a universal frame near the operator seat.

Rotary Ploughs

It is a Europe origin plough. The rotary plough may be divided into three types – pull auxiliary engine, pull power take off driven, and self-propelled garden type. It is also called as "Rotary tiller" which consists of a power driven shaft on which knives or tynes of different shapes and sizes are mounted. The speed of this plough is 200 to 300 rpm. The width ranges from 61 to 180 cm and depth ranges from 5 to 20 cm. It is suitable for shallow cultivation and weed control. It cuts the soil, pulverizes the soil to powder and spreads uniformly to level the field.

Ridgers and Furrowers

A ridger plough consists of ‘V’ shaped share and two convex mould boards. The bulging out M.B help in forming compact ridges. It is used in row crop cultivation, for earthing operation, i.e. making ridges for potato, sugarbeet crops etc. a furrower consists of a general type mould board, which are two in number, joined together in one piece. Both the share as well as mould board works as one unit. The soil is thrown in both the directions to form furrows or channels. It is used for making irrigation channels and boundaries of a field. They are classified as light type, medium type and heavy type, depending upon the nature of work.


Harrows are secondary tillage equipment, generally used after primary tillage equipment operations are over on the field. Harrows are used mostly for greater pulverization, killing weeds, reducing evaporation and removing weeds, grasses and vines from the field. There are many types of harrow suitable for specific field conditions, and soil types. The most common are spike tooth harrow, spring tyne harrow, disk harrow, triangular harrow, achme harrow, patella harrow and blade harrow. They consist of strong and rigid mild steel frame of square, circular, ‘T’ or ‘C’ and ‘I’ cross sections. High carbon steel or spring steel or wooden pegs or tynes are mounted on tooth bars, which has a provision for changing the angle of these pegs (15 to 25cm length) are mounted on a section, which are 0.75 m to 1.5 m in width.

Disk harrows are single action, double action or tandem type and offset. They consist of 30 to 45 cm diameter disks, mounted on a long arbour bolt at equal spacing by spool. In a gang 5 to 23 disks are mounted, which are made up of harden steel or spring steel. During operation the whole gang rolls on the ground.

Bakhar or blade harrow is an indigenous implement. It has a long narrow sharp blade fixed to a wooden frame of square, hexagonal, octagonal in cross section. It is 25 to 30 cm in width and goes upto 8 to 10 cm deep. It works as a sweep under the soil, cutting all the weeds and vegetation on the surface.


It is also a secondary tillage implement but can be used as primary tillage under moist conditions. The animal drawn are Kanpur type, macormic type, wah wah senior, wah wah junior, R.N. cultivator and care trool bar and under power operated as spring tyne type and rigid tyne/type. Generally they consist of shank or standard called tynes mounted on the frame and to each shank a reversible type shovel is attached for opening the land. They are mostly used for interculture in a standing crop. For bullock drawn the width varies from 30 to 60 cm. While tractor drawn 1.20 to 2.4 m. Holes are provided on the frame to adjust the gap between tynes as per requirement. Tractor drawn implements are mounted type, semi-mounted and integral mounted type. In some cultivators’ width and depth controlling device is also provided.


It is an implement used for puddling the paddy field before transplanting. Puddling is churning of soil in the presence of excess water (5 to 10 cm deep of standing water in ploughed field) by means of a puddler or any other implement for this purposes. Puddling reduces leaching of water, kills weeds by decomposing and facilitates the transplanting of paddy seedlings by making the soil soft, loose and creamy, according to the power used, puddlers are classified as:

  1. Hand operated puddlers
  2. Animal drawn puddlers
  3. Tractor operated puddlers.

Hand and animal operated puddler consists of series of steel or cast iron blades fastened to a cast iron hub at an angle. The blades are also twisted in design. These hubs revolve on a steel shaft to which operator seat and wooden beam is attached. When hubs are integral part of shaft then it is mounted on wooden or ball bearings. The width is 0.9 to 1.2 m. The tractor operated are tyne tiller, rotating blade puddler, disk harrow and power rotary tiller. The tractor which is equipped with cage wheels are used most commonly for puddling purpose.