Skip to main content

Competency Area 4: Soil health and compaction

PO 37. Know how to prevent or minimize soil compaction.

  • Prevent compaction by avoiding traffic in the field or tillage when the soil is wetter than the plastic limit.
  • Reduce tire pressure to increase tire footprint and to avoid surface compaction.
  • Use tracks to increase footprint and avoid surface compaction.
  • Use doubles on the tractor and reduce tire pressure in them to avoid surface compaction.
  • Reduce axle load to avoid subsoil compaction (don't exceed 10 tons/axle)
  • Reduce use of moldboard and disk plows.
  • Don't run tractor wheel in furrow.
  • Increase organic matter content to make soil resist compaction more.
  • Increase root occupation in times when soil is moist (winter period)
  • Reduce the field portion impacted by tires by increasing swath width.
  • Avoid trafficking the whole field by respecting field roads and traffic lanes.
  • Try precision traffic, driving in same traffic lanes always.

precision farming 1.jpg

Planting using precision farming techniques to reduce field traffic

Photo courtesy of NRCS