|Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken|
Submitted to: Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/31/2004
Citation: Chung, S., Sudduth, K.A. 2004. Characterization of cone index and tillage draft data to define design parameters for an on-the-go soil strength profile sensor. Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. 5(1):10-20.
Interpretive Summary: Precision agriculture attempts both to minimize costs and environmental damage caused by agricultural activities and to maximize crop yield and profitability, all based on information collected at within-field locations. Soil strength, or compaction, is a factor that can vary considerably within fields and can also greatly affect crop yields. Because of this, farmers need a quick and inexpensive way to measure compaction, such as a sensor that can take measurements continuously while traveling across a 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 defined 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. These results 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: Precision agriculture aims to minimize costs and environmental damage caused by agriculture and to maximize crop yield and profitability, based on information collected at within-field locations. In this process, quantification of soil physical properties, including soil strength, would be useful. To quantify and manage variability in soil strength, there is need for a strength sensor that can take measurements continuously while traveling across the field. In this paper, preliminary analyses were conducted using two datasets available with current technology, (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 a 0.5-m design sensing depth, 10-MPa maximum expected soil strength, and 0.1-MPa sensing resolution. Compaction level, depth, texture, and water content of the soil all affected CI. The effects of these interacting factors on data obtained with the soil strength sensor should be investigated through experiments. Spatial analyses of CI and TD indicated that the on-the-go soil strength sensor should acquire high spatial-resolution, high-frequency (+/- 4 Hz) measurements to capture within-field spatial variability.