Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 1999
Publication Date: July 22, 1999
Citation: Raper, R.L., Washington, B.H., Jarrell, J.D. 1999. A tractor-mounted multiple-probe soil cone penetrometer. Applied Engineering In Agriculture. 15(4):287-290. Interpretive Summary: Accurate methods of determining the degree and depth of soil compaction require extensive amounts of time due to the variation within fields. A multiple-probe soil cone penetrometer has been designed and developed at the NSDL for the very purpose of quickly determining the depth of root-impeding layers. Because it is tractor-mounted, it can quickly traverse through a field where data is obtained at various locations. This data can then be used to determine the variability of the root-impeding layer throughout the entire field for potential site-specific tillage. This machine has been successfully used in many experiments throughout the Southeast and is a valuable research tool for the NSDL.
Technical Abstract: Determining soil compaction profiles requires fast sampling systems due to changing moisture conditions. Soil cone penetrometers are commonly used for this purpose, but the many readings required due to spatial and data variability can take long periods of time. A multiple-probe soil cone penetrometer was constructed and tested for the purpose of measuring cone index values throughout the entire soil profile from trafficked middle across the row to untrafficked middle. This machine has been successfully used in numerous studies and offers the capability of obtaining soil strength information throughout an entire field in relatively short periods of time.