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Different soils require different-shaped moldboards in order to give the same degree of pulverization of the soil. Thus, moldboards are divided into several different classes, including stubble, general-purpose, general-purpose for clay and stiff-sod soil, salt, Blackland, and chilled general-purpose. The Blackland bottom is used, for example, in areas in which the soil does not scour easily; that is, where the soil does not leave the surface of the emerging plow clean and polished.The share is the cutting edge of the moldboard plow. Its configuration is related to soil type, particularly in the down section, or concavity, of its lower surface. Generally, three degrees of down suction are recognized: regular for light soil, deep for ordinary dry soil, and double-deep for clay and gravelly soils. In addition, the share has the horizontal section, which is the amount its point is bent out of line with the landside. Down suction causes the plow to penetrate to proper depth when pulled forward, while horizontal suction causes the plow to create the desired width of the furrow.

Moldboard-plow bottom sizes refer to the width between share wing and the landside.Tractor-plow sizes generally range from 10 to 18 inches (25 to 45 centimeters), although larger, special-purpose types exist.

On modern mechanized farms, plow bottoms are connected to tractors either as trailing implements or integrally. One or more bottoms may be so attached. They are found paired right and left occasionally (two-way), with the advantage of throwing the furrow slice in a constant direction as the turns are made. A variation is the middlebreaker, or listen, which is a bottom equipped with both right- and left-handed moldboards.

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