Skip to main content

Alfalfa yield as affected by harvest traffic and soil compaction in a sandy loam soil

Rechel, E.A. and Meek, B.D. and DeTar, W.R. and Carter, L.M. (1991) Alfalfa yield as affected by harvest traffic and soil compaction in a sandy loam soil. Journal of Production Agriculture. 4(2):241-246.

[img] PDF

Download (496kB)


Harvesting alfalfa (Medicago saliva L.) results in plants
being subjected to traffic at different times during the growth
cycle with equipment having different wheel sizes and loads.
The affect of this traffic could have important ramifications
on yield. The objectives of this study were to determine the
long-term effects of harvest traffic and soil compaction on
alfalfa yield. In the first experiment, two conventional traffic
systems were compared to alfalfa production with no traffic.
A single traffic event, that covered 100% of the plot area 3
to 5 d after each swathing, compared to no traffic significantly
decreased yield by 20% in the 1st yr, 16.5% in the 2nd yr,
14% in the 3rd yr, with no significant difference the 4th yr.
There was no difference in total yield between nontrafficked
and a typical grower's traffic pattern the 1st yr, but in the
succeeding 3 yr there was a 5 to 17% reduction. The effects
of soil compaction and harvest traffic on yield were separated
in the second experiment. Alfalfa grown in moderately and
heavily compacted soil had a 12 and 26% decrease respectively
in seasonal total yield compared to the yield from
plants grown in noncompacted soil the 1st yr. Annual yields
were the same regardless of the degree of soil compaction in
the 3rd yr. When harvest traffic was applied to alfalfa grown
in extremely compacted soil there was an additional decrease
in yield. It was not statistically significant the 1st yr, but in
the following 2 yr, 1987 and 1988, yield was significantly
reduced by 17.8 and 19.1%, respectively. Alfalfa yields were
significantly reduced both by harvest traffic and compacted
soil. To achieve optimum long-term alfalfa yields compacted
soil must be tilled before planting and operations that reduce
the area of the field subjected to traffic must be implemented.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0741
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Alfalfa
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:53
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2016 17:40
Item ID: 555