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Plough facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Yaks still provide the best way to plow fields in Tibet
Two animals pulling a plow with a farmer behind it

A plow or plough is a simple machine used in farming. A plow is pulled across the ground by a human or animal. When pulled across the ground, the plow lifts up dirt and makes two lines of dirt behind it. The dirt lifted by the plow is more loose than before. Ground that has been plowed is a good place for a farmer to grow food.


Old plough schema
Diagram – modern plough
Steel plough, Emly
Steel plough

The diagram (right) shows the basic parts of the modern plough:

  1. beam
  2. hitch (Brit: hake)
  3. vertical regulator
  4. coulter (knife coulter pictured, but disk coulter common)
  5. chisel (foreshare)
  6. share (mainshare)
  7. mouldboard

Other parts not shown or labelled include the frog (or frame), runner, landside, shin, trashboard, and stilts (handles).

On modern ploughs and some older ploughs, the mouldboard is separate from the share and runner, so these parts can be replaced without replacing the mouldboard. Abrasion eventually destroys all parts of a plough that come into contact with the soil.


Early in the agricultural revolution, simple hand-held digging sticks or hoes would have been used in areas with good soil, such as the area near the Nile River in Africa. At the Nile, the annual flood makes the soil better by rejuvenating it, to create places where seeds could be planted. To help crops grow in areas where floods were rare, the soil had to be rejuvenated in a different way. This is when plowing was first used, and hoes were the first plows.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Arado para niños

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Plough Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.