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Forskningsartikel2006Vetenskapligt granskad

Effects of soil water content during primary tillage - laser measurements of soil surface changes

Arvidsson J, Bolenius E


Soil water content during tillage can have a large impact on soil properties and tillage outcome. Measurement of soil relief in relation to fixed elevation points provides a non-destructive method of monitoring loosening/compacting processes during the year. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of soil water content during primary tillage on soil physical properties. The treatments included mouldboard and chisel ploughing of a clay soil on three occasions in the autumn, with gradually increasing water content (0.76, 0.91 and 1.01 x plastic limit). Soil surface height was measured by laser within a 0.64 m(2) area from fixed steel plates after each tillage occasion, and before and after seedbed preparation in the following spring. The measurements of surface height were compared with measurements of other soil physical properties, such as bulk density, saturated hydraulic conductivity and seedbed properties. Tillage at the lowest water content (0.76 x plastic limit) produced the greatest proportion of small aggregates, and generally the most favourable soil conditions for crop growth. Soil loosening, as measured by increase in soil height during primary tillage, was highest for mouldboard ploughing and for tillage at the lowest water content. Differences between tillage treatments decreased with time, but were still significant after sowing in the spring. Natural consolidation during winter was smaller than the compaction during seedbed preparation in the spring. No significant differences in bulk density were found between treatments, and thus soil surface height was a more sensitive parameter than bulk density determined by core sampling to detect differences between treatments. Late tillage under wet conditions caused a greater roughness of the soil surface and the seedbed base, which was also found in the traditional seedbed investigation. The effect of tillage time on seedbed properties also resulted in a lower number of emerged plants in later tillage treatments. The laser measurements were effective for studying changes in soil structure over time. The results emphasize the need to determine changes in soil physical properties for different tillage systems over time in order to model soil processes. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Publicerad i

Soil and Tillage Research
2006, Volym: 90, nummer: 1-2, sidor: 222-229

      SLU författare

    • Arvidsson, Johan

      • Institutionen för markvetenskap, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
    • UKÄ forskningsämne


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