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A Portable Tillage Profiler for Measuring Subsoiling Effectiveness

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  021138,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10377) @2002
Authors:   Randy L. Raper, Tony E. Grift, Mehari Z. Tekeste
Keywords:   Tillage, subsoiling, soil disruption, profile

A portable tillage profiler (PTP) was constructed using a laser distance sensor, a linear actuator, a portable pc, and a lightweight aluminum frame that can quickly and accurately measure above- and belowground soil disruption caused by tillage. A laboratory experiment was conducted that determined that soil color did not detrimentally affect the PTP with expected vertical errors of 2.3 mm and horizontal errors of 0.6 mm being found. However, when pure white and black objects were examined, the errors increased to 4.2 mm vertically and 11 mm horizontally. This maximum error was established when attempting to measure the height and width of a wedge, which had a sharpened edge pointing vertically upward. The PTP was used in the NSDL soil bins to measure both above- and belowground soil disruption caused by two subsoiler shanks. The PTP gave results that enabled differences between the aboveground disruption caused by each subsoiler to be statistically established.

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