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Types of Tillage Equipment – Primary & Secondary Implements


Preparing the soil to a fine tilth is advantageous for promoting optimal germination. As a result, various types of tillage equipment have been introduced through technological advancements to facilitate the tilling process.

In today’s evolving farming world, farmers have access to a range of farm implements to assist them in preparing their fields for planting. 

These farming tools not only simplify the job of getting the soil ready, but they also contribute to environmental-friendly land management and efficient land use. 

From traditional harrows to highly advanced and accurate soil-tilling machines, there has been a significant transformation in how we prepare the soil. This highlights the essential collaboration between technology and farming for achieving the finest outcomes.

Let’s take a closer look at different tools used in farming to work on the soil and understand how they are used. Please have a look below:

Deep / Primary Tillage Equipment 

Here are some of the most commonly used deep tillage equipment

Mouldboard Plough 

It is the primary tillage tool that aggressively tills the soil. Mouldboard ploughing involves inverting the soil to a certain depth, usually around 8 to 12 inches, as measured from the bottom edge of it. This depth ensures that the soil is adequately turned over and mixed, preparing a suitable seedbed for planting.

This method disturbs a significant portion of the soil surface, leaving less than 15 percent covered with crop residue after planting.

It also exposes the soil to a higher risk of erosion by wind and water due to the lack of protective cover. Additionally, mouldboard ploughing does have associated costs in terms of fuel, time, and labour, making it a relatively resource-intensive tillage practice.

Disc Plough 

The disc plough looks quite different from the regular mouldboard plough. Instead of a curved blade and a big plate, it has a big round metal disc that spins. This disc digs into the ground and flips the soil to the side.

The disc is about 60 centimetres wide and turns over a piece of soil that’s about 30 to 35 centimetres wide. This kind of plough is good for fields with lots of tall, grassy weeds because the disc can cut them smoothly. 

It works best in soil that doesn’t have big rocks. Unlike the mouldboard plough, you don’t need to use another tool to break up the clumps of soil that the plough turns over.

Subsoil Plough 

A subsoil plough, also known as a subsoiler or deep ripper, is an agricultural implement designed to address soil compaction and improve soil structure in deeper layers of the soil profile without disturbing the topsoil layer. It is commonly used in farming and land management practices.

The design of this farm tool often includes a wedge-shaped and narrow body, along with a wider share. The wedge shape helps to penetrate the soil effectively, while the wider share contributes to breaking up the compacted layer beneath the surface. 

This design creates a slot or channel in the soil without fully turning over the top layers. This approach minimises soil disturbance while addressing compaction issues in the deeper layers.

One Way Plough 

The plough’s bottom is attached to the beam through a hinge, allowing both the mouldboard and the share to be flipped to either the left or right side of the beam. This design feature serves two purposes: 

Firstly, it eliminates the need to completely turn the plough around when dealing with hilly terrain. Secondly, it enables the overturning of the furrow slice exclusively to a single side.

Chisel Plough 

The chisel plough serves the purpose of breaking through compacted layers of soil and conducting deep ploughing at depths ranging from 45 to 70 centimetres. What sets it apart is its design, featuring a slim body equipped with a replaceable cutting edge.

The plough includes a changeable share that effectively fractures the lower layers of soil, addressing the issue of hard pans.

This method of operation combines the advantages of breaking compacted soil while also maintaining the integrity of the top layers, making it an effective tool for soil preparation and conservation.

Ridge Plough 

The ridge plough features two moldboards – one for rightward soil turning and another for leftward turning.

 A double-winged share is employed for both moldboards. These moldboards are mounted on a shared body. It’s used to split the field into ridges and furrows, and it can also be used for earthing up crops. 

The term earthing up or hilling refers to the process of piling soil around the base of growing plants, which can be important for proper root development and providing stability to the plants. To create wide beds and furrows, a frame can be fitted with two ridge ploughs, spaced 150em apart.

Types of Secondary / Minimum Tillage Equipment 

Here are some of the main types of secondary tillage implements: 


It is a farm implement used for shallow tillage. After a field has been ploughed, a “harrow” is used to break up and make the soil surface smooth. This helps prepare the soil for planting seeds. Harrowing breaks apart big lumps of soil and creates a good soil texture for seeds to grow in. Sometimes, coarser harrowing is done to get rid of weeds. 

The Kelly Tillage Disc Harrows are strong and versatile requiring very little servicing or spare parts.

Disc Harrow 

Performs the harrowing operations with a set of rotating steel discs. Each set is mounted on a common shaft. 

There are two main types of disc harrows based on how the discs are arranged.

  • Single Action 

A dual-gang harrow is set up with its two gangs positioned consecutively, each displacing soil in opposite directions.

The discs are arranged in such a way that the right side gang throws the soil towards the right and the left side gang throws the soil towards the left. 

  • Double Action 

It features two or more gangs, with a set of one or two gangs following in the path of the other set of one or two gangs. These gangs are arranged in such a way that the front and back gangs throw the soil in opposite directions.

Tine Harrow

It consists of a series of rigid, pointed teeth that are attached to a frame. The tines are typically made of metal and are spaced out evenly along the width of the harrow.

When pulled behind a tractor or other agricultural machinery, the tines of the harrow penetrate the soil, breaking up clumps and levelling the surface. This helps to create a finer seedbed for planting, improve soil aeration, and promote water infiltration. 

Drag Harrow 

A drag harrow comprises multiple metal bars, usually organised in a grid-like pattern, and these are attached to a frame. This frame is capable of being towed by a tractor, ATV, or other appropriate vehicle. 

As it’s pulled across a field, the harrow’s tine work to break apart soil clumps, create a uniform surface, and evenly disperse leftover crop materials. Drag harrows are especially efficient for tasks such as gentle tilling, refining uneven landscapes, and integrating organic substances into the soil.

Blade Harrow

Blade harrows serve multiple agricultural purposes, such as weed and stubble removal, clod crushing, shallow soil cultivation, seed covering, and inter-cultivation harvesting. These harrows are divided into two main categories: indigenous and improved.

Indigenous blade harrows are traditional and locally crafted tools used for basic cultivation tasks. On the other hand, improved blade harrows are modernised versions designed with advancements in materials and engineering techniques, enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness.  


Its function involves the refinement of soil, either before the sowing of crops to enhance soil aeration and establish a smooth, loose seedbed or following the commencement of crop growth to eliminate weeds. 

These implements are commonly available in self-propelled versions or as attachments towed behind two-wheel or four-wheel tractors. In the case of two-wheel tractors, they are typically affixed rigidly and powered through connections to the tractors’ transmission system. 

Conversely, for four-wheel tractors, cultivators are usually linked through a three-point hitch mechanism and propelled by a power take-off mechanism.

Best Minimum Tillage Equipment for Sale 

Take a moment farmers to examine these remarkable farming tools. You will likely choose one of them, as we guarantee that these implements offer solutions to all your farming requirements.  

Kelly Tillage Diamond Harrows & Discs 

Model 4012 has some upgrades. It’s got more space underneath, a bigger jokey wheel at the front, a stronger frame, and you can even choose to add extra wheels on the sides for better floating.

Model 6218 features twin drawbar cylinders, load-sharing axles, and the optional outer wing dual wheels, this robust variant offers remarkable durability. It’s designed to easily go over raised areas of soil.

CL2 Disc Chain is powerful for rough conditions and heavy soils. The way the CL2 Disc is made helps it dig into even the hardest dirt, and the heavy part in the middle helps it keep digging and controls how deep it goes. This makes it the strongest tool we have.

Our W36 Disc Chain takes the spotlight as our expert for wet weather conditions. Its shallow concave shape and sleek surface excel in wet and sticky soils like no other option can.


Various types of tillage equipment play a vital role in modern agriculture. From primary to secondary tools, each type serves a specific purpose in soil preparation and seedbed development. The selection of equipment depends on factors like soil type, crop needs, and environmental sustainability.