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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DRYLAND CROPPING SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT FOR THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS

Location: Central Plains Resources Management Research

Title: Yield Loss Caused by Soil Compaction on a Loam Soil in Eastern Colorado

Author
item Benjamin, Joseph

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 6, 2006
Publication Date: November 14, 2006
Citation: Benjamin, J.G. 2006. Yield Loss Caused by Soil Compaction on a Loam Soil in Eastern Colorado. Agronomy Abstracts. Presented at the International American Society of Agronomy Meetings/Soil Science Society of America (ASA/CSSA/SSSA) Annual Meetings. November 12-16, 2006. Indianapolis, IN.

Technical Abstract: The use of no-till cropping systems in the central Great Plains has led to water savings that allow increased cropping intensity and more diversity of crop species. However, because no tillage is done to loosen the soil, concerns arise that the long-term effects of no tillage could result in increased soil compaction and possible degradation of the soil physical environment for crop production. The objective of this study was to determine the potential yield loss caused by degradation of soil physical quality due to compaction. Soil conditions and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yields were observed on the Alterative Crops Rotation study at Akron, Colorado in 1996 and 1997. Quantification of changes in soil physical properties were determined by observing changes in the soil Least Limiting Water Range (LLWR), which incorporates limitations of water holding capacity, soil strength and soil aeration, on crop production. Grain yield decreased approximately 900 Mg ha-1 per 0.1 unit decrease in LLWR, showing that soil compaction can cause serious yield reductions if not managed properly. Methods such as controlled wheel traffic or the use of low-pressure tires should be used to reduce soil compaction and maintain soil productivity. Soil compression curves were developed to help predict the amount of soil compaction, and subsequent yield loss, to be expected with wheel traffic at various tire pressures and soil moisture conditions.

Last Modified: 7/27/2014
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