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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Asssessment of Management Practices on Soil Compaction in Ohio Soils

Apr 16, 2015, 9:00am - 10:00am

A Graduate Defense Seminar by Tania D. Burgos Hernandez, MS Student in Soil Science, who will present Assessment of Management Practices on Soil Compaction in Ohio Soils in 333C Kottman Hall.

The demand for food is expected to rise due to increases in world populations over the next decades. The use of heavy machinery to meet this demand for food is expected to increase as well. Additionally, soil compaction is recognized as a major concern in agriculture dependent on the use of heavy machinery. Soil compaction has been shown to negatively impact crop production, which may occur because of overuse of heavy machinery used in tillage operations, sowing, harvesting, and manure and fertilizer applications. Soil compaction also affects physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in the soil including the mineralization of soil organic carbon and nitrogen.

Long-term experiments that include tillage and crop rotations are necessary to understand the impact of soil management practices on soil properties. Tillage practices (conventional tillage-CT; minimum tillage, MT; and no tillage, NT) and crop rotations (continuous corn-CC and corn-soybean-CS) effects on soil compaction and carbon and nitrogen were studied in the long-term Triplett-Van Doren plots which are part of the Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center (OARDC). These plots are experimental sites located in northeast Ohio (Wooster) and northwest Ohio (Hoytville).

The data on bulk density, water retention curves, pore size distribution, penetration resistance, organic carbon and nitrogen across all crop rotations and tillage practices treatments were analyzed by site and depth, using the General Linear Model (GLM) in SAS to determine tillage treatment and crop rotation main effects and their interactions.

The results from this study shows there were significant tillage and crop rotations treatments effects on soil physical properties. Compaction effects on pore size distributions under different tillage systems, varied by site due to differences in soil texture and climate. A tillage main effect was observed at both sites for adjusted penetration resistance (APR), where APR increased with soil depth. This study also showed that the use of long-term NT practices effects on  soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (TN) varied by site. At the Hoytville site, a tillage main effect was observed with higher SOC and TN associated with NT than MT and CT. No significant differences were observed between tillage treatments at Wooster.