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 along with soil conditions (wet vs. dry) impact the level of compaction induced. 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. Understanding both surface compaction and subsoil/deep compaction is important.
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.
Additional resources will be posted Fall 2019!