Soil Compaction Management


Soil Compaction is a decrease in soil volume and porosity, or increase in soil bulk density typically due to mechanical stress or caused naturally. Field traffic by machinery is a primary contributor to soil compaction today due to excessive machine/implement loading on the soil.  Soil structure and texture along with soil conditions (wet vs. dry) impact the level of compaction induced by machinery and implements.  Machine loading factors may include axle loads, wheel configuration or tracks, and loading frequency. It is estimated that between 75-80% of soil compaction occurs on the 1st pass. It is important to understand both surface compaction and subsoil/deep compaction and their impact on crop production. 

Soil compaction considerations, impacts, and practices to minimize

The Ohio State University Digital Ag Program is committed to completing research and extension activities regarding soil compaction. The program has a strong focus on researching pinch row compaction from planters (tracked vs. wheeled tractor and planter configurations), and investigating the potential of utilizing smaller equipment to limit loading while maintaining efficiency and profitability. 

2020 Precision University: Combating Compaction

Headling Presentations

Identify: Recognizing Signs of Compaction

Evaluate: Quantifying the Impact of Compaction

Prevent: Stopping Compaction Before It Occurs

Manage: Handling Compaction After It Occurs

General Soil Compaction Resources