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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #148316

Title: CHARACTERIZATION OF SOIL STRENGTH DATA FOR AN ON-THE-GO SENSOR

Author
item CHUNG, SUN-OK
item Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2003
Publication Date: 4/15/2003
Citation: CHUNG, S., SUDDUTH, K.A. 2003. CHARACTERIZATION OF SOIL STRENGTH DATA FOR AN ON-THE-GO SENSOR. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERS MID-CENTRAL CONFERENCE MEETING PAPERS. PAPER NO. MC03-203.

Interpretive Summary: Precision agriculture aims to minimize costs and environmental damage caused by agricultural activities and to maximize crop yield and benefits based on information collected at within-field locations. One parameter that can vary considerably within fields and also significantly affect crop yields is soil strength or compaction. To efficiently quantify compaction there is a need for a soil strength sensor that can take measurements continuously while traveling across the field. This paper reports on a portion of our research to develop such a sensor. We analyzed data collected with two currently available devices to obtain information useful for design of an on-the-go sensor. This analysis provided a basis for defining the maximum sensing depth and the forces the sensor would likely encounter if operated at that depth. It also provided information on how precise the sensor measurements should be and how close together they should be obtained to accurately characterize soil strength variations. The results of this research will benefit other researchers working to develop similar soil strength sensors by giving them an idea of what field conditions may be expected during sensor operation.

Technical Abstract: To efficiently quantify soil compaction there is need for a soil strength sensor that can take measurements continuously while traveling across the field. In this paper, preliminary analysis was conducted using two currently available datasets, (1) cone penetrometer readings collected at different compaction levels and for different soil textures and (2) tillage draft (TD) collected from an entire field. The objective was to provide information useful for design of an on-the-go soil strength profile sensor and for interpretation of sensor test results. Analysis of cone index (CI) profiles led to the selection of sensing depth, expected maximum soil strength, and sensing resolution as 0.5 m, 10 MPa, and 0.1 MPa, respectively. Compaction level, depth, texture, and moisture content of the soil had significant effects on CI. The effects of these factors on the soil strength sensor should be investigated through experiments. Spatial variability analyses of CI and TD indicated that the on-the-go soil strength sensor should acquire high-resolution, high-frequency measurements to capture the soil strength variability present within fields.