The effect of soil moisture deficit on the susceptibility of soil to compaction as a result of vehicle traffic

Vero, S. E. and Antille, D. L. and Lalor, S. T. J. and Holden, N. M. (2012) The effect of soil moisture deficit on the susceptibility of soil to compaction as a result of vehicle traffic. In: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting (ASABE 2012), 29 Jul-1 Aug 2012, Dallas, TX. United States.

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Soil compaction negatively affects soil productivity, fertilizer use efficiency and water infiltration. The extent of compaction is dependant on soil strength, which is influenced by the soil moisture content. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of soil compaction (measured by changes in soil bulk density and shear strength) and soil deformation incurred due to a single pass of a tractor and a fully loaded slurry tanker over grassland soils at a range of soil moisture deficits (SMD).
The study should identify threshold values of SMD at which adverse soil compaction becomes significant for the soil-crop system. These values may be incorporated into the forecasting and decision making process for slurry spreading. SMD was used as a proxy for volumetric water content.
Treatments of a single pass by a Landini Vision 105 tractor and a loaded 7.2 m³ single axle slurry tanker (total weight of c. 18 tonnes) were conducted on well, moderate and poorly drained grassland soils at forecasted SMD of 0, 5, 10 and 20 mm. The moderately drained soil was classified as a loam, while the well and poorly drained sites were classified as sandy loams. Changes in soil bulk density
and torsional shear strength were used as indicators of compaction, with rut profile measurements taken to measure the extent of surface deformation, which is often the most visible indicator of compaction on the soil surface. Grass yields were measured at 30 and 60 days subsequent to
trafficking. Results showed that SMD at the time of traffic had an effect on the changes in bulk density, shear strength and the extent of soil rutting following wheel traffic. Preliminary results indicate that higher SMD at the time of trafficking resulted in smaller changes to soil characteristics and more rapid recovery from surface deformation than when trafficking occurred at lower SMD.
Trafficking at an SMD of 20 mm led to mean increases in soil bulk density of 8% and formation of ruts with cross sectional areas in the range of 29.4 cm² to 98.3 cm². Trafficking at 0 SMD (field capacity) led to mean increases in bulk density of 15% and the formation of rut profiles in the range of 91.6 cm² to 197.9 cm². These preliminary results indicate that forecasted SMD provides a valuable
tool to determine the suitability of the soil for supporting farm vehicle operations such as slurry
spreading. This study is still ongoing, with more detailed results and analysis to be forthcoming.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © (2012) by the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers. For information about securing permission to reprint or reproduce a technical presentation, please contact ASABE at or 269-932-7004 (2950 Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085-9659 USA). Paper # 121341063
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2014 04:52
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2018 01:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: compaction; traffic; soil moisture deficit; bulk density; shear strength; rut profile
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070107 Farming Systems Research
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050305 Soil Physics
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.13031/2013.42046

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