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Bulk density of a sandy loam: traffic, tillage, and irrigation method effects

Meek, B.D. and Rechel, E.R. and Carter, L.M. and DeTar, W.R. (1992) Bulk density of a sandy loam: traffic, tillage, and irrigation method effects. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 56:562-565.

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Modern crop production creates a cycle between soil compaction
caused by traffic and alleviation of this condition by tillage or natural
processes such as freezing and thawing. The objective of this study
was to evaluate important management practices as they relate to
changes in bulk density of a tilled sandy loam soil. Practices evaluated
were irrigation method, time between tillage and traffic, tire pressure
and wheel load of applied traffic, and controlled traffic. Relationships
among bulk density, penetration resistance, and infiltration rate were
determined. Experiments were conducted in the San Joaquin Valley
of California, on a sandy loam soil (Entisol) with an organic-matter
content of <1%. After tillage, settling and trafficking of a soil resulted
in rapid changes in its bulk density until a new equilibrium was reached.
Tire pressure of 408 kPa and wheel weight of 2724 kg applied at
moisture contents near field capacity resulted in a bulk density of 1.92
Mg m-3 , compared with a value of 1.67 for no traffic. The time
interval between tillage and traffic did not affect final bulk density.
Drip irrigation, which did not saturate the soil, resulted in a bulk
density of ≈0.1 Mg m-3 lower than flood irrigation, which saturated
the soil surface. Wheel traffic in the furrow resulted in only small
changes in the bulk density within the row. When tillage did not occur
between cropping seasons, traffic caused high bulk densities in the
furrow but only small changes in the row. An increase in bulk density
from 1.7 to 1.89 Mg m-3 decreased the infiltration rate by four times
and increased resistance to penetration at the end of the season by
three times. Knowledge of how management practices affect bulk density
can aid growers in reducing recompaction following tillage.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0765
Subjects: Soil > Tillage
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:53
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 22:58
Item ID: 573