from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The curved plate of a plow that turns over the soil.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A curved piece of metal on a plow or bulldozer that clears the free dirt from the blade.
- n. A follow board.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A curved plate of iron (originally of wood) back of the share of a plow, which turns over the earth in plowing.
- n. A follow board.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The curved board or metal-plate in a plow, which turns over the furrow.
- n. In founding, the board on which the pattern for a mold is laid; a follow-board.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. wedge formed by the curved part of a steel plow blade that turns the furrow
Then, as now, farmers used a long curved blade called a moldboard to turn over the earth, exposing nutrients and getting rid of grass, stubble and weeds on the surface.
I do not know of such a machine in use, nor do I believe in the theory of Dr. Brainard, that the moldboard is the only plan for properly pulverizing the soil; for I am satisfied that such plan is wholly inadmissible in steam plowing in this country, for want of sufficient traction for self-propulsion, and observation has taught me that a self-propelling plow is the only steam plow our people will tolerate.
Meanwhile, the moldboard plow, invented in China in the 2nd Century, did not appear in Europe until the 17th Century as an import, after which European agriculture became phenomenally more efficient.
They also produced 40 percent less gas than fields tilled with moldboard plows, which turn the dirt over onto itself.
And a new mentality is a more significant invention than the moldboard plow or the semiconductor.
As part-time inventors, both men made mighty contributions to humankind: Jefferson radically improved the plow when he created what is known as "the moldboard plow of least resistance," which dug into the soil with less effort; and Franklin was a bona fide scientific pioneer who proved, by capturing lightning in a bottle, that lightning and static electricity were indeed one and the same substance — a discovery that made him internationally famous.
This was impossible until the introduction of the iron, wheeled plowshare, with moldboard.
Behind Themphi followed teams of oxen with knife-edged but deep moldboard plows.
Fifty years before, farmers used these double-moldboard plows but had since given them up as too old fashioned and too energy consuming.
The field should be harrowed (or plowed without moldboard) and crop residues left to form a stubble mulch to absorb/retain moisture and soil until the rains return.