Plowing with Scotch bottoms

MiCarl

Well-Known Member
Member
Long story short: I volunteer at an educational farm that does not own its own plow. The plowing has been done by another volunteer with a two bottom Ferguson plow with Scotch bottoms. A hay field he did before I started has weed problems.

The current situation: there is a field that was in soybeans that has been fallow so far this year. It's got some beans, timothy and weeds I cannot identify growing in it. The leadership has decided to plow it under and plant a cover crop (TBD).

I've arranged with some guys from my club to help plow it under. We all have general purpose bottoms in the 12-16 inch range. The guy with the Ferguson plow wants to help.

I've not been able to find much on Scotch Bottoms other than they are designed to turn the soil less than 180 and they're great in sod. My concern is the Scotch bottoms won't roll the soil enough to bury the weeds and expose the roots. On the other hand it seems some people successfully use them for that.

Who is familiar with Scotch bottoms? Will they adequately roll the soil to knock the weeds back?
 

Propane1

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
I have a Ferguson two bottom plow. But I can’t tell you what type of mouldboards are on it. It does what I want it to do. I use it for plow matches.

Did some searching. I believe that I have those scotch bottoms on my plow. And I know they are 10”.

I do not have skimers on my plow. If it did and the same with any plow, the skimers help hide the grass and weeds. The skimer is placed by the coulter and looks like a mini plow. Once the coulter cuts the sod, the skimer flips about a 3” wide mini sod on top of the sod which the main plow is going to turn over. This puts the mini sod at the bottom of the furrow and the main sod covers it.
So if he has skimers. It should help.

I am no expert. Just giving ideas.

Noel
 
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MiCarl

Well-Known Member
Member
Yours certainly does a nice job. I cannot see the shares in your photo, they're similar to the one I posted?
 

MiCarl

Well-Known Member
Member
I was at the farm today and looked at the plow closely. Seems to be the same one if yours has 10" bottoms.

It appears the tail wheel will limit plowing depth to about 5". That with the narrow furrow will be a problem. My Cub will run in a 10" furrow but the other tractors will have wider tires.

As I drove home I remembered I have a 12" cat 0 plow in my shed. He's got a Deere compact utility with cat 1 hitch. I've asked him for some measurements from his tractor. Maybe we can make that plow work for him.
 

alleyyooper

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
If you look at the mold boards on those fergy plows you can see they were designed to roll the sod/dirt into the farrow.

Is a pretty sorry operator in my option is a tractor with wider than 10" wheels can't plow and cover his tracks in a 10" farrow.


:D Al
 

Propane1

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
As long as tire front and rear tire line up square on the inside of the tires, then it will cover the rear tire tracks up to a 13.6 tire. Mine are 11.2.
Last year at the plowing match I used a Massey Ferguson 245. This tractor has the 13.6 tires. It worked ok, but it was not easy. I came in last. Was not my tractor. This year I will have my own tractor back. Tea20 Ferguson. Last year I had engine trouble, so borrowed the 245.

The Deere will work, depending on rear tire size and if the front and rear tire line up. Some of those compact utility tractor have large rear turf tires.

Noel
 

MiCarl

Well-Known Member
Member
We did the plowing and as I was concerned the scotch bottoms weren't up to the task. In addition to the plow design the tractor was really too wide for that plow. After a bunch of messing around we managed to get it to where it would go as much as 3" deep (sandy loam) in his own furrow and maybe 5" when he was running in someone else's deep furrow. It did turn the soil over more than I expected.

With our general purpose bottoms we were plowing about 8" deep. One of the other participants commented that following that plow was just like opening a new furrow.

He did finally become convinced that's the wrong plow for his tractor and the type of work he's doing. He's started the search for a larger plow with general purpose bottoms.
 
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