A disc harrow is a harrow whose cutting edges are a row of concave metal discs, which may be scalloped, set at an oblique angle. It is an agricultural implement that is used to till the soil where crops are to be planted. It is also used to chop up unwanted weeds or crop remainders .
The heavy duty disc with large diameter disc blades of 26", 28", 30", 32", 36", and 40", and with increased disc spacings of 10", 14", and 18" are the primary tillage tools that are used to break virgin ground.
It consists of many carbon steel discs, and sometimes longer-lasting boron discs, which have many varying concavities and disc blade sizes and spacing (the choices of the latter being determined by the final result required in a given soil type) and which are arranged into two sections ("offset disc harrow") or four sections ("tandem disc harrow"). When viewed from above, the four sections would appear to form an "X" which has been flattened to be wider than it is tall. The discs are also offset so that they are not parallel with the overall direction of the implement. This arrangement ensures that the discs will repeatedly slice any ground to which they are applied, in order to optimize the result. The concavity of the discs as well as their offset angle causes them to loosen and lift the soil that they cut.
A discer is an evolved form of a disc harrow, more suitable to Saskatchewan prairies, where it was developed in the 1940s. It does not leave ridging and it is lighter to pull, so it can be made bigger. After the 1980s their domination started to fade.
Now disc harrows are tractor-driven and are raised either by a three-point lift or hydraulically by wheels. The large ones have side sections that can be raised vertically or that fold up to allow easier road transport or to provide better storage configurations.
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