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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Conservation Systems Research for Improving Evnironmental Quality and Producer Profitability Title: Soil penetrometers and penetrability

Authors
item Arriaga, Francisco
item Lowery, Birl -
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agrophysics
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 6, 2010
Publication Date: July 4, 2011
Citation: Arriaga, F.J., Lowery, B., Raper, R.L. 2011. Soil penetrometers and penetrability. Encyclopedia of Agrophysics. P. 912-924.

Interpretive Summary: Soil penetrometers are useful tools that measure the strength of a soil. They can be as simple as a rod or shaft with a blunt or sharp end, or complicated mechanically driven instruments with digital data collection systems. Soil penetrometers can detect differences in soil strength in a soil. Traditionally, penetrometers in agriculture have been used to detect soil compaction issues and depth to compacted soil layers. However, with advances in electronics and computing power, several researchers have created innovative uses for soil penetrometers such as the development of mathematical functions that relate soil properties to soil strength and 3-D maps of soil landscapes. With the advent of new technologies and incorporation of other sensors, soil penetrometers will continue to be important useful tools in agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Soil penetrometers are useful tools that measure the penetrability, or strength, of a soil. They can be as simple as a rod or shaft with a blunt or sharp end, or complicated mechanically driven instruments with digital data collection systems. Regardless of their design, soil penetrometers measure soil penetrability and can detect differences in soil strength within a soil profile. Traditionally, penetrometers in agriculture have been used to detect soil compaction issues and depth to compacted soil layers. However, with advances in electronics and computing power, several researchers have created innovative uses for soil penetrometers such as the development of pedotransfer functions and 3-D mapping of soil landscapes from cone index data. With the advent of new technologies and coupling of other sensors, soil penetrometers will continue to be important useful tools in agrophysics.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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