Effects of intensive tractor traffic on soil physical properties and plant yield
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University of Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, St. Leszczyńskiego 7, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Publication date: 2020-09-25
Int. Agrophys. 1992, 6(3-4): 119–122
In recent years, increasing attention is being paid to soil compaction. The question arises as to whether deterioration of soil structure and other physical properties resulting from heavy kneading are permanent or whether the soil will recover its properties during one vegetative period as a result of cultivation. A field experiment was set up on Orthic Luvisol formed from loess-like silts. Spring barley was sown on a production farm. Immediately after sowing, five plots of 4.5 x 150 m were established and the whole area was compacted by tractor wheels according to the following scheme: A – one pass of a 2170 kg tractor, B – one pass of a 3700 kg tractor, C – three passes of a 3700 kg tractor, D – eight passes of a 3700 kg tractor. After the barley was harvested a shallow ploughing was performed. Before winter, the soil was ploughed to a depth of 25 cm. The next, after shallow cultivation (8 cm), spring wheat was sown. Soil samples for the determination of physical properties were taken directly after compaction and three times (May, June, August, 1989) in the first year and twice (April, August 1990) in the second year. The yield of grain from each plot was determined. The experiment showed that the effects of compaction remained in the soil in the second year after compaction, and that soil compaction contributed to a decrease in cereal yield. The grain yield in compacted soil was lower by about 10-50% in the first year after compaction and by 4-30% in the second year.