The Keyline Plow

The Red Book
& Prices

The RED BOOK is a booklet with pictures illustrating the variety of plows we make and the range of points and components that can go with them.


Deciding Your Plow Configuration

How many horse power per tine (or shank or leg). Whether a three point linkage plow or a trailing model. Size of tines to suit. And other things to ponder and decide on.


Using a Yeomans Plow

When do I first use it. What's a suitable speed. How deep should I go. What points to use. Do I need coulters. And lots of other things it's nice to know.


An Academic’s Keyline Assessment

The late Professor J. MacDonald-Holmes was Dean of the Faculty of Geography, University of Sydney and a truly great Australian. He followed the development of P.A Yeomans' Keyline principles from their inception in the late 1940s.


Creating Fertility. Locating Keylines

Allan Yeomans describes, in basic terms what fertile soil really is and why it is possible and practical to massively enhance the fertility levels of farm soil. Also here, is a description of valley forms and where the Keyline is, and why and how it works. And how to find it.


The Subsoil Plow Story

Keyline cultivation required a plough that didn't turn the soil layers upside down. We looked everywhere. The Texas made Graham-Hoeme Chisel Plow was the only thing we could find available anywhere in the world. We got one and used it, and then made them under license. And sold them here in Australia in the thousands. And that's why I still spell it "plow".


Video Library

A collection of relevant plow and Keyline footage and links to YouTube. Some filmed in the 1950s. Others by Darren Doherty, a long time friend of mine and a Keyline and Permaculture guru.   The Keyline concepts of farm planning, water storage and handling, accelerated soil fertility enhancement and rotational grazing, were developed on our family farms in the early 1950s.   In the 1980s, by combining these experiences with gliding meteorology I conceived the concept of enhancing soil fertility to stop global warming. Allan Yeomans 2016


Yeomans Keyline Systems Explained

The Keyline system has changed only slightly from my father, P.A, Yeomans' original books on Keyline. The main change started in the late 1960s with our work on developing a ripper with almost zero disturbance of soil layer profiles. The modern subsoiler was born and highly accelerated Keyline soil fertility enhancement became possible and practical.


Contacting Us

Yeomans Plow Co Pty Ltd  39 Demand Avenue  Arundel  Gold Coast City  Queensland 4214  Australia


“Carbon Still” Soil Test System

To end Climate Change we pay our farmers $10 a tonne - carbon dioxide equivalent - for increasing the carbon content of their soils.  The best and most consistent measuring process for measuring this carbon increase is by measuring the Loss On Ignition (LOI) of a representative  sample of the soil. Our 'Carbon Still' does the measuring.


Cheap Solar Thermal Electricity

The only significant factors in determining the sale price of the power produced from a solar thermal installation is the cost to cover deprecation and the amount of interest on the money used to build it. That's where our Yeomans system out shines them all.


Pay $10 Trillion to Farmers & Global Warming Ends

Yeomans Protocol & on farm soil carbon test bench



Your guide to navigation around this site. Put the cursor here.

To get back to the top of the site, click the white house on the right.

First; You put the Cursor on one of the 13 numbered buttons.
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3. Using a Yeomans Plow 4. An Academic’s Keyline Assessment 5. Creating Fertility. Locating Keylines 6. The Subsoil Plow Story 7. Video Library 8. Yeomans Keyline Systems Explained 9. Contacting Us

2. Deciding Your Plow Configuration 1. The Red Book
& Prices
13. Your guide to navigation around this site. Put the cursor here.

To get back to the top of the site, click the white house on the right.
10. “Carbon Still” Soil Test System 11. Cheap Solar Thermal Electricity
Pay $10 Trillion to Farmers & Global Warming Ends

Yeomans Protocol & on farm soil carbon test bench



  Here I try to describe in basic terms what fertile soil really is and why it is possible and practical to massively enhance the fertility levels of farm soil.

  Rich top soil is just dead subsoil plus a lot of reasonably stable humus plus a heap of active fungi, a mass of air breathing microbes and lots of earth worms, all with masses of dead plant root material to eat, air to breathe, water to drink and space to live in. If your soil is like that you know you don’t have a problem growing anything.

  Some subsoils are more highly mineralized than others. But that’s determined by the near surface geology, and to change that you have to change farms. But fortunately, over geological time scales, endless mixing has been going on so there are very few soils, anywhere in the world, that don’t have all, or almost all, of the minerals and elements required by healthy plants. True, the elements may not be readily “available”. But also fortunately, vigorous active soil life produces their own tiny blobs of powerful acids that crack the inert rock particles and make the trapped elements available to the system. If it wasn’t like that, then life on land just would not exist.

  For you, on the farm, on the property, on the ranch there is one thing that you can do much better than nature can. And you can do it in an instant.

  You can create the abundant space needed to allow soil life to do its thing, to massively proliferate. One deep pass with a subsoil plow that produces minimum disturbance of soil layers and the perfect microbe and earthworm housing estate is created. The soil fertility creation process can thus be speeded up, in many cases a thousand fold. What took centuries can be done in two or three seasons. And improvements can continue to produce soil to unprecedented fertility, for decades.

  For nature to create space, unassisted, it had to wait for a tree to grow to maturity, then wait for it to die and then eventually fall over so finally the tree’s roots could loosen up the deep, hard, subsoil.

  Or nature can do the job with grasses. That works, but it can take centuries for grasses to battle their way into dense compacted subsoil and loosen the stuff. It took centuries to create the deep, rich prairies and savannas of the world

  Pouring expensive chemicals, year in and year out to just produce saleable crops is invariably more expensive than turning poor soils, dead soils and “worn out” soils, into rich and permanent and hugely productive soils.

  The end products of all this soil activity are stable humic and fulvic acid molecules. Really the difference between the two is academic. They are both mainly made of carbon atoms. And technically, that mixture is what “humus” is. The individual molecules are enormous. They contain hundreds of carbon atoms. And very few of these molecules are ever exactly the same.

  To grow, plants need soluble chemicals to absorb into their roots. That’s what the tiny blobs of acid produce. Big problem. Sure the plants need them but being soluble; every time it rains they are going to get washed away. All those valuable elements ending up in the ocean.

  Knobble surfaces are the answer. Both tiny clay particles and humic acid molecules have surfaces that can loosely trap the stray elements they find floating around. They’re hold the atoms tight enough so they don’t float away; and still loose enough for the plant roots to collect and use them as needed. The elements get “chelated” onto the knobbley surfaces. The large humus molecules are many times better doing this than is clay, and clay is better than almost any other geological material.

  So for plant roots these surfaces act like super market shelves, all full of nutritious goodies. That’s the way it’s always worked.

 Many strong agricultural fertilizers work by destroying and looting the shelves. It’s obvious why we lament that after a few years the chemicals “don’t seem to work so well anymore”.

  You get a soil test done. Soil tests test for what’s “available”. They don’t actually test for what’s really there and what can become “available”, with the help of prodigious soil biological activity.

  Then you are advised what chemicals to buy.

  And then, much to their vexation, you decide there has to be a better way.

Allan Yeomans

How Do I Find The Keyline?

When the geology of an area has had time to settle down, when all the exposed rock faces have weathered away the final result is gently undulating country.

The topographical form of that gently undulating country, the fundamental “shape” of that country is always exactly the same in every country on every continent on the whole planet.

Big rivers are fed by smaller rivers. The smaller rivers are fed by even smaller rivers and they in turn are fed by hundreds of creeks. Then finally the creeks are fed rain water from the thousands of small primary valleys that feed into them. The primary valleys are the end of the chain, or really the beginning of the chain of rain to the sea. for the floor of a primary valley only receive the water from the sides of that valley and nowhere else. That the start.

Walk up the floor of a primary valley and at first it is fairly flat, just a gentle slope. Then suddenly it gets steeper. And where it suddenly gets steeper is the Keypoint of that valley. And a contour line passing through the Keypoint of a valley, is the Keyline.

When plowing up the hill, parallel to the Keyline, rain falling in the furrowers will tend to drift out towards the adjacent ridge. And the weird thing about the Keyline is that plowing parallel to the Keyline and moving down from the Keyline, we find again that rain falling in the furrowers will tend to drift out towards the adjacent ridge.

A contour that passes through the steep valley floor will continue out to where the adjacent ridge is steeper and a contour passing through the flatter part of the valley floor will continue out to where the adjacent ridge is steeper. It always happens that way. The relative steepness pattern swaps at the Keyline. That was my father’s peculiar and amazingly insightful discovery. (Indecently, it was me who came up with the name “Keyline”. Around 1950 it was.)

Between the river’s outlet into the ocean and the primary valleys way upstream, the shape of the rivers and creeks are like fractals. Where every pattern is an enlarged version, or conversely a reduced version of every other pattern.

But geological movements and reshaping never stops so very often the formation of these inevitable fractal valley patterns are disturbed and the weathering has to start all over again. So classic, well defined Keylines don’t always exist.

But that doesn’t matter for the principal of pegging a contour and plowing parallel up from that line, or paralleldown from that line, can always be used to control the drift of rain water across the land and prevent its concentration.

Viscous, earth gouging erosion, needs big volumes of water moving fast. The flow has first to become concentrated. Keyline pattern deep working does two things. It allows the rain to soak in fast and secondly it prevents what doesn’t soak in from concentrating into tiny fast flowing rivulets.

Keyline means you keep the water and, you stop erosion.

For a more adetailed explanation, find it in my book PRIORITY ONE, and go to Chapter 7,  HISTORY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY SOIL CONSERVATION AND KEYLINE . Or just click this link. Chapter 7