Coulter (agriculture)

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A simple drawn plough: 4) marks the coulter (using an early knife-like design)

A coulter or colter is a vertically mounted component of many plows that cuts an edge about 7 inches (18 cm) deep ahead of a plowshare.[1] Its most effective depth is determined by soil conditions.[2]

History[edit]

Its earliest design consisted of a knife-like blade.[3][1] Coulters with a flat rotating disc began being used c. 1900.[4][1] Its advantage was a smoothly cut bank, and it sliced plant debris to the width of the furrow.[2]

Results[edit]

In his 1844 book, Henry Stephens used dynamometer measurements to conclude that a plow without a coulter took about the same amount of force to pull but using a coulter resulted in a much cleaner result.[1] It softens the soil, allowing the plow to undercut the furrow made by the coulter.[1]

Jointer[edit]

Coulter (center) and Jointer (left)

A rolling coulter has an optional accessory called a "jointer".[2] The jointer flips over a small part of the surface on top of the slice before the plowshare flips the main slice.[2] It ensures that all of the plant debris gets covered by the flipped slice.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Stephens, Henry (1854). The Book of the Farm. W. Blackwood. pp. 271–272. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bacon, Charles Allen (1920). The Oliver plow book: a treatise on plows and plowing. Oliver Farm Equipment Company. pp. 160–162. 
  3. ^ "Our Steel Beam Rod Breakers from $6.50 to $7.70". 1896 Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog. 
  4. ^ "Our $9.75 Walking Plow". 1896 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalog.