|MITCHELL, CHARLES - Auburn University|
|DELANEY, DENNIS - Auburn University|
Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2016
Publication Date: 11/3/2016
Citation: Balkcom, K.S., Duzy, L.M., Mitchell, C.C., Delaney, D.P. 2016. A simple approach to enhance multiprobe soil cone penetrometer analyses. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 80:1619-1628. doi:10.2136/sssaj2016.05.0157
Interpretive Summary: Soil penetrometers are used to characterize soil strength measurements for many applications related to soil science. ARS researchers at the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, AL developed an approach to complement traditional soil strength analyses by demonstrating a method to quantify soil strength differences among treatments collected with a multi-probe cone penetrometer. Results indicate that soil strength measurements associated with treatment effects can be easily separated to rank treatments quantitatively. This approach enables the level of compaction in the measurement area of a multi-probe soil cone penetrometer to be characterized with a single value to facilitate simple comparisons among treatments in field experiments.
Technical Abstract: Soil penetrometers are used to characterize soil strength measurements for many applications related to soil conservation and management using statistical analyses of depths and row positions combined with contour graphs. Our objective was to demonstrate a method to quantify soil strength differences among treatments collected with a multi-probe cone penetrometer using soil strength measurements. Data were collected from the Old Rotation experiment in Auburn, AL during December 2014 and a tillage system and cover crop experiment in Prattville, AL during November 2009. Soil strength values were averaged across depths within each row position of the multi-probe penetrometer, plotted across row positions, and the area under the curve was calculated. The area under the curve for cone index values (AUCC.I.) corresponds to the measurement area of the multi-probe soil penetrometer that can be used to compare soil strength measurements across treatments. The AUCC.I. values from the Old Rotation, a non-replicated experiment, identified lower soil strength values for the 3-year rotation compared to continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) or the 2-year rotation. The method also identified that three conservation tillage implements reduced soil strength compared to no-tillage using AUCC.I. values from the Prattville experiment. Results from both sets of soil strength measurements demonstrated that the described method used to convert soil strength measurements into a single value can be used to quantitatively distinguish among treatments. These values can be used to facilitate simple comparisons among treatments in field experiments and aid in the interpretation of traditional statistical analysis and contour graphs.