Purpose and Function of Subsoiler Plows

Purpose and Function of Subsoiler Plows

A subsoiler plow, also known as a flat lifter or mole plow, serves an important tillage purpose and has unique design attributes that enable deep soil work.

This type of plow loosens soil at greater depths than other implements to address compaction issues.

Breaking Up Compacted Soil

The main purpose of a subsoiler plow is to fracture compacted soil layers deeper in the ground. Subsoilers are designed to break up and shatter dense, restrictive layers called hardpan that limit root growth at depth.

They address and remedy soil compaction problems that cannot be reached by regular tillage tools like disc harrows or chisel plows.

By fracturing compacted subsoil, subsoilers improve overall soil structure, porosity, and health.

Working at Deep Depths

Subsoiler plows have an angled shank or wing design that is engineered to work much deeper in the soil profile than other tillage implements.

While tools like disc harrows and moldboard plows typically work at shallow depths of 6-8 inches, a subsoiler can break up and fracture soil as deep as 2 feet or more.

The angled shanks or wings on the implement are able to penetrate deeply to lift and shatter the subsoil hardpan layer.

This unique capability allows subsoilers to provide deep tillage beyond the abilities of other equipment.

Heavy Power Requirements

Subsoiling is an extremely intensive tillage operation that requires high levels of power input. It typically takes 60-100 horsepower or more to pull a single subsoiler point through dense, compacted subsoil.

The robust strength and force needed to fracture subsoil at such deep depths necessitates heavy horsepower requirements from large tractors.

The hard work of breaking through deep compacted layers many inches down demands significant power.

Improving Soil Structure and Crop Growth

Subsoiler plows create better soil structure and porosity by breaking up deep restrictive layers. The loosened and fractured soil promotes increased root growth and development at depth.

By shattering stubborn hardpan compaction, subsoilers allow for improved crop productivity and yield potential.

Farmers utilize these specialized plows to remedy subsoil structure issues beyond the reach of regular tillage implements.

[Related Post: 5 Types Of Plows For Farming]


Subsoiler plows serve an invaluable role in agriculture and tillage. Their specialized angled shank design allows them to fracture compacted subsoil layers deeper than other implements can reach.

By breaking up hardpan and improving deep soil structure, subsoilers facilitate increased root growth and crop yields. However, deep tillage requires significant power input.

Farmers dealing with subsoil compaction issues can leverage subsoiler plows to remedy these problems when regular plowing fails to reach deep enough.

Though intensive to operate, their ability to shatter restrictive layers down to two feet or more provides unique soil loosening benefits.

Subsoiler plows are an important tool for addressing deep soil compaction and unlocking the full productivity potential of agricultural fields.