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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Raper, Randy
item Grift, Tony

Submitted to: Resource Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 4/1/2002
Citation: Raper, R.L., Grift, T.E. 2002. Land laser:alternative measuring device records tillage effects. Resource Magazine. April, 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Often growers have difficulty determining what kind of tillage is necessary to achieve adequate soil compaction reduction. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that some of the most effective tillage tools in reducing soil compaction also disrupt the soil surface an excessive amount which can require additional tillage for smoothing before planting. A laser profilometer has been created to measure the amount of above and below ground soil disruption caused by various tillage tool components. The use of this device should enable engineers to design better tillage tools that will disrupt the soil profile an appropriate amount while leaving the soil surface relatively undisturbed.

Technical Abstract: A device is described that enables the amount of above and below ground soil disruption from tillage components to be accurately measured. A laser-based distance measurement system is used to measure tilled soil profiles to determine differences in above and below ground disturbance. Data from an experiment that was conducted in the NSDL soil bins is presented to show the usefulness of the device.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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