Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Soil and Water Conservation Society published a monograph about 15 years ago comparing conventional and conservation tillage systems from several different aspects. The Society is following up with a "White Paper" addressing state-of-the-art knowledge about tillage systems. This paper gives an overview of soil compaction. Soil compaction is mainly a function of wheel traffic, not tillage. Tillage is viewed as having an impact on alleviating wheel-induced compaction and/or maintaining a given soil physical condition. Compaction effects are mainly in three areas: infiltration and erosion, energy and fuel consumption, and plant growth. Most compaction effects are negative, but there are also real positive effects under certain conditions, especially with respect to plant root growth. Since it is impossible to make a general statement that applies equally to all sets of soil- climate variables, this manuscript reviews past research in a general way so as to give producers principles that will guide them in their specific operation.