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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Measurement and Management of Soil Compaction

Author
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2000
Publication Date: January 5, 2000
Citation: Raper, R.L. 2000. Measurement and management of soil compaction. Meeting Abstract. Ridgetown, Ontario, Jan. 5-6, 2000.

Technical Abstract: Soil compaction plagues many parts of the world and affects many different crops. Excessive soil compaction can cause crop yields to be diminished, excess energy for tillage to be required, the erosion process to escalate, and water and nutrients to not be used efficiently. The first step in managing soil compaction and reducing its impacts on your farm is to determine if your soil is susceptible. Several methods of measurement are valid to determine if a soil is subject to compaction. Measurement of soil compaction: (1) Soil cone penetrometers - simple and proven, but time-consuming; (2) Soil stress transducers - complicated and (3) Experimental methods. The best procedure to alleviate unwanted soil compaction is to prevent it. However, if your field is already "infected", either from natural means or from vehicle traffic, proper management can greatly reduce soil compaction's negative impacts on crop yield. Farmers have many options to reduce soil compaction and enhance their overall soil quality. These can include choices of cropping systems, reducing vehicle traffic, tire selection, and deep tillage. Management of soil compaction: (1) Cover crops; (2) Controlled traffic; (3) Reduced axle load; (4) Reduced inflation pressure; (5) Bias-ply tires, radial tires, or tracks and (6) Deep tillage.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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