Traffic effect on soil compaction and yields of wheat in Spain Efectos del tráfico del tractor sobre la distribución de la compactación del suelo y los rendimientos de trigo en España
The general objective of this paper was to quantify the changes in the physical properties of an Aridisol soil and the effect on wheat yield due to agricultural tractors traffic in the Vélez Blanco District, Almería Spain. Parameters measured were cone index [CI] in the 0-600 mm depth profile, bulk density [BD] and rut depth; the variable wheat yields [WY] was measured too. The traffic treatments applied were: 0 [control plot], 1, 3, 5, and 7 tractor passes in the same tracks. Each experimental plot was trafficked with two tractors, one light [60 kN] and one heavy [80 kN]. In topsoil [0-200 mm], up to five passes of the heavy [HT] and light tractors [LT], as in one and three passes, the BD and CI values responded to the ground pressure being higher in absolute value for LT. For the 200 to 400 mm depth range HT caused higher CI [1,570 to 2,200 kPa] and BD [1.38 to 1.68 Mg m-3] values than LT. Eight months later, WY was evaluated in tractor's track areas and decreases in the range of 18-38 percent, were measured. For seven passes the applications of total loads of 80 and 60 kN increased BD up to 1.5 Mg m-3 at depths of 200-600 mm. Although soil had high bulk density prior to traffic treatments, a significant increment of subsoil compaction still occurred due to the high traffic intensities applied.
AXLE LOAD BULK DENSITY CONE INDEX RUT DEPTH TRITICUM AESTIVUM