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Mathieu Lamandé

Seasonal dynamics in wheel load-carrying capacity of a loam soil in the Swiss Plateau

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  • S. Gut, Switzerland
  • A. Chervet, Switzerland
  • Matthias Stettler, Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL, Switzerland
  • Peter Weisskopf, Agroscope Research Station ART, Department of Natural Resources & Agriculture, Zürich, Switzerland
  • W.G. Sturney, Switzerland
  • Mathieu Lamandé
  • Per Schjønning
  • T. Keller, Sweden
Subsoil compaction is a major problem in modern agriculture caused by the intensification of agricultural production and the increase in weight of agricultural machinery. Compaction in the subsoil is highly persistent and leads to deterioration of soil functions. Wheel load-carrying capacity (WLCC) is defined as the maximum wheel load for a specific tyre and inflation pressure that does not result in soil stress in excess of soil strength. The soil strength and hence WLCC is strongly influenced by soil matric potential (h). The aim of this study was to estimate the seasonal dynamics in WLCC based on in situ measurements of h, measurements of precompression stress at various h and simulations of soil stress. In this work, we concentrated on prevention of subsoil compaction. Calculations were made for different tyres (standard and low-pressure top tyres) and for soil under different tillage and cropping systems (mouldboard ploughing, direct drilling, permanent grassland), and the computed WLCC was compared with real wheel loads to obtain the number of trafficable days (NTD) for various agricultural machines. Wheel load-carrying capacity was higher for the top than the standard tyres, demonstrating the potential of tyre equipment in reducing compaction risks. The NTD varied between years and generally decreased with increasing wheel load of the machinery. The WLCC simulations presented here provide a useful and easily interpreted tool to guide the avoidance of soil compaction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoil Use and Management
Pages (from-to)132-141
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • soil compaction, precompression stress, trafficability, soil maric potential , tillage systems

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