Simulation of plowing and cutting processes in soils is challenging and time-consuming due to large deformations and contact interactions. Recent studies on sand have suggested that a simplified, efficient approach based on incremental plastic analysis can capture the essential physics and features of the problem. The present study refines this technique by enhancing the kinematics and implementing a more sophisticated material law. The effects of hardening and softening, as well as dilatancy and compaction, are introduced. With the modified model, it is observed in the case of hardening (compaction) that the occurrence of multiple successive shear bands at variable locations gives the appearance of continuous shearing in the final pattern of deformation. This is markedly different from the previously predicted response in the case of softening (dilatancy), where shear bands appear at distinct locations and transition from one discrete location to the next. The computed results are compared with preliminary experimental data gathered in the Soil-Structure and Soil-Machine Interaction Laboratory (SSI-SMI Laboratory) at Northwestern University.