Field evaluation of soil moisture deficit thresholds for limits to trafficability with slurry spreading equipment on grassland

Vero, S. E. and Antille, D. L. and Lalor, S. T. J. and Holden, N. M. (2014) Field evaluation of soil moisture deficit thresholds for limits to trafficability with slurry spreading equipment on grassland. Soil Use and Management, 30 (1). pp. 69-77. ISSN 0266-0032


This study investigated the extent of soil damage caused by field traffic associated with different levels of soil moisture deficit (SMD). The hybrid SMD model was used for computing temporal patterns of SMD which can be accurately predicted for a range of soil types in Ireland. The aim of this study was to determine SMD threshold limits to trafficability for incorporation into a decision support system for safe slurry spreading. A tractor and a fully loaded single-axle slurry tanker (total weight ca. 18 tonnes) were driven over well, moderate and poorly drained soils at SMD values of 0, 5, 10 and 20 mm during drying phases. The change in soil bulk density (SBD) was used as an indicator of soil compaction, and rut profile measurements were taken to determine soil deformation indicative of surface damage. The effect of traffic on the grass crop was determined by measuring dry matter yield at 30 and 60 days posttraffic in the wheel-rut and nontrafficked area. Results showed that the SMD at the time of traffic had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on the magnitude of the changes in SBD on soils of different drainage status, and on rut dimensions following traffic. DMY was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced on the wheeled compared with the nonwheeled soil. No differences in the magnitude of DMY loss were identified between the sites having different drainage status. An SMD value of 10 mm was suggested as an SMD threshold for trafficability for safe slurry spreading purposes.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 British Society of Soil Science. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2014 23:31
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 08:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: bulk density; grassland; soil compaction; soil moisture; soil physical properties
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070107 Farming Systems Research
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/sum.12093

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