Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2002
Publication Date: 11/11/2003
Citation: Raper, R.L. 2003. Soil compaction management. In Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering. Ed. D. Heldman. pp. 902-905. Marcell Dekker, Inc. NY, NY. Interpretive Summary: Soil compaction plagues American agriculture by reducing yields and increasing soil erosion. Measurements of soil compaction indicate that it can vary greatly across fields due to past tillage, traffic, and natural conditions. New technologies, including site-specific tillage, may offer valuable alternatives for management of soil compaction that allow energy to be conserved, yields to be maximized, and soil to be conserved.
Technical Abstract: During temporary droughts that often limit agricultural production, soil compaction can hinder plant roots from reaching depths of soil where moisture is available. Many fields exhibit various degrees of soil compaction, resulting from variable soil types and past tillage and traffic practices. Various site-specific technologies such as variable-rate tillage, seeding, or cover crops hold promise as methods that may be used to alleviate site-specific soil compaction.