Disc Harrow: An Ultimate Guide 


If you are searching for the best tools for growing crops, controlling weeds, improving soil fertility and levelling seedbed, disc harrow is the best tool for all.

Disking is the farm management practice used to break up clods and surface crusts after ploughing. A disc harrow is also used to improve soil granulation and surface uniformity. 

Along with preparing soil for crops, disking controls weeds and kills already emerged weeds. It also helps to incorporate crop residues into the soil for fertility.

In this post, we’ll be discussing: what a disc harrow is, how it works, its types, benefits and its uses. Read on till the end to get the most out of this guide.

What is a Disc Harrow?

A disc harrow is a crucial farm equipment used to prepare soil for planting or sowing by breaking up the clods and surface crusts. It thus improves soil granulation and destroys the weeds. This equipment makes well-tilled soil for healthier plants and better yields.

Components of Disc Harrow

It consists of a series of concave cutting metal discs, or blades, that are mounted on a frame and typically consist of the following parts:

Disc; circular concave cutting blades made of steel. It has further two types: Smooth edge disc/plain edge disc and notched edge disc/cut-away discs or scalloped edge discs.

Frame; it is used to hold and support the disc.

Arbor bolt; heavy steel shaft to mount the disc.

Spool or spacer; flanged tube mounted on arbour bolet between every two discs used to prevent any lateral movement of the discs and retain their fixed position. Used to keep equal spacing between the discs.

Bumper; heavy iron plate situated at the end of each gang to counter; it protects the discs from the collision of adjacent discs.

Bearings; it assists the rotation of the gang. 

Scraper; saves disc from clogging, removes the soil from the disks, keeping the concave side of the disk clean.

Transport Wheel; in some of disc harrows, transport wheels are provided for transportation purposes.

Disc gang; assembly of disks mounted on a common arbour bolt with disc spacer, bearing, and bumper.

Weight box; provided on the main frame of the harrow for bearing additional weight for increasing the penetration of the disc into the soil.

Types of Disc Harrows

Disc harrows are classified into different types in the market as per their operations in the soil management. Let’s discuss the types of disc harrow to choose the best one that suits your farming needs. 

  1. Single-Action Disc Harrow

In this type of disc harrow, the disc gang breaks the soil only in one direction. They’re arranged in opposite directions, thus throwing the soil in opposite directions, creating ridges and furrows. They’re used by farmers in smaller lots as the cutting width ranges from 4 feet to 20 feet.

  1. Double-Action Disc Harrow

It is also called tandem disc harrow or double-action disc harrow; it consists of two or more gangs. Its front gangs throw the soil in one direction, while discs on the rear gangs throw the soil in the opposite direction.

  1. Offset Disc Harrow 

The disc gangs that aren’t aligned with the tractor dragging it is called offset disc harrow. A double action disc harrow has two rows of disc gangs that break the soil in the opposite direction to one another. They are the largest types of disc harrows best for large fields. 

Uses and Benefits of Disc Harrow

Here are some of the uses and benefits of a disc harrow:

  1. Soil preparation: Disc harrow is used to break up and loosen the soil to create a good seed bed for planting. They can be used to cut through and break up hard, compacted soil, allowing for better water penetration, air circulation, and root growth.

  1. Weed control: It can also be used to control weeds by cutting them up and burying them in the soil. This helps to prevent the growth of new weeds and reduces the amount of herbicides needed.

  1. Residue management: With disc harrow, you can incorporate crop residues into the soil after harvesting. This helps to add organic matter to the soil, which can improve soil fertility and structure.

  1. Improved crop yields: By preparing the soil properly with a disc harrow, crop yields can be improved. Proper soil preparation helps to create an optimal environment for seed germination and crop growth.

  1. Cost-effective: It is relatively inexpensive compared to other farm implements and can be used for a variety of tasks, making them a cost-effective investment for farmers.

  1. Time-saving: Disc harrow can cover a large area quickly, saving time and labour for farmers.

  1. Versatile: It can be used on a variety of soil types and can be adjusted to different depths and angles, making them a versatile tool for farmers.

So, it is an essential tool for modern agriculture, helping farmers to prepare their fields for planting and to manage weeds and crop residues. They are cost-effective, time-saving, and versatile, making them an important investment for any farming operation.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Disc Harrow

When choosing one, you should consider the following factors:

  1. Soil type: Different soil types require different disc harrow models. For example, if you have heavy clay soil, you may need a heavy-duty disc harrow with large blades.

  1. Field size: The size of your field will determine the size of the disc harrow you need. A larger field requires a larger disc harrow to cover more ground in less time.

  1. Tractor horsepower: You need to check your tractor’s horsepower before buying a disc harrow. Make sure the disc harrow you choose is compatible with the horsepower of your tractor.

  1. Number of discs: The number of discs on the harrow will affect its cutting capacity. More discs mean faster and deeper soil penetration, but also higher cost.

  1. Blade spacing: The spacing between the blades on the disc harrow determines the depth of penetration and the level of soil disturbance. A wider spacing is good for shallow tilling while a narrower spacing is better for deeper tillage.

  1. Blade size: The size of the blades will also affect the level of soil disturbance. Larger blades will penetrate deeper into the soil, while smaller blades will produce finer tilth.

  1. Bearing type: The type of bearings on the disc harrow will determine its durability and maintenance requirements. Sealed bearings are low maintenance, but may require replacement if damaged. Greasable bearings are more durable but require regular maintenance.

  1. Transportability: If you need to move your disc harrow between fields, consider its transportability. Choose a model that can be easily hitched to your tractor and moved around.

  1. Price: Finally, consider the price of the equipment. Choose a model that is within your budget and offers the features you need.

Summing Up

Disc harrow is an ultimate tool for your farm for seedbed preparation, weed control, residue management, cover crop incorporation and to improve the soil fertility.  That’s why it is crucial to choose the right disc harrow for your farm for achieving optimal soil fertility and crop yields.

Before buying a disc harrow you need to consider factors such as area, soil type, tractor horsepower, farm size and desired level of seedbed preparation. Also you also need to know the type and size of crop to be planted when selecting a disc harrow. 

Understanding the different types of disc harrows, their uses and benefits, are necessary to help you make an informed decision. You can consult Kelly Tillage to get the best and most durable disc harrow for optimal seedbed preparation.