Before farmers could plant seeds in the soil, they needed to prepare the soil. The prairie would need to be broken up, which would often leave the soil with large clumps that had to be smoothed out. Other soil would need to be turned. All of these processes were completed with a variety of tillage equipment.
Farmers walked behind horses around the whole field while controlling the plow. This was a lot of walking and hard work for farmers!
Diskers are used to break up land, such as sloughs or pastureland. The original designs used small steel implements that would be pulled by horses to break up the land. This adapted as tractors were introduced, and the size of the disker has grown, allowing farmers to cover more ground.
Harrows were designed as a tool that would break up soil and smooth out the surface. They used to be pulled by horses. Harrows were usually made from steel with spikes attached to drag across the ground. Modern harrows are wider and can also fold and unfold behind the tractor so they can move from field to field easier.
Harrows would smooth out the surface of a farm field and prepare it for seeding.
Some farmers harrow after seeding to make the fields smoother for spraying and harvesting. Most farmers will also harrow after combining to spread the straw out. This is important because little seeds cannot grow through a lot of straw.