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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   Gill, William R., and Glen E. Vanden Berg
Keywords:   Soil Dynamics, Soil Science, Tillage, Traction, Compaction Behavior Equations, Compaction in Tillage and Traction

In previous chapters, the complete scope of interest of soil dynamics- from descriptions of the soil through its behavior and use-has been developed, In agriculture, the compactness of soil affects the soil physical environment for crop production ( 3, 31, 52, 58, 130, i47,148,219,257,298,299,413,436,516). Compaction reduces the soil’s permeability to water, so that runoff and erosion may occur and adequate recharge of ground water is prevented. Compaction reduces aeration of the soil, so that metabolic activities of roots are hampered. Compaction increases the mechanical strength of the soil, so root growth is impeded. All of these effects may reduce the quality and quantity of food and fiber grown on the soil. Direct cause-and-effect relations appear to exist between the use of machinery and soil compaction, between soil compaction and a plant root environment, and between a plant root environment and crop production. These relations are qualitative, and intuition has led workers to try to directly correlate the use of machinery with crop production. Because of the complexity of this machine-plant system, little progress has been made toward a solution. Less complicated systems must be analyzed to delineate the soil behaviors that describe and control subsystems wherein soil behavior has direct effect. When this is accomplished, information will be available to evaluate and control soil compaction in soil management systems. Two problems generally arise concerning soil compaction. Soil may be too compact to be used effectively in crop production. Prevention and alleviation of compactness are the problems associated with crop production. On the other hand, soil may not be compact enough to be used effectively for roads, dams, or building supports. Obtaining maximum compactness with minimum compacting effort is one of the problems associated with construction work.

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