The influence of agricultural traffic on soil infiltration rates
¹ Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Agricultural Machines, Kamýcká 129, CZ165 21 Prague 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic
² Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Machines and Production Biosystems, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, SK949 76 Nitra, Slovak Republic
³ Harper Adams University, Department of Crop and Environment Sciences/Engineering, TF10 8NB Newport – Shropshire, United Kingdom
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of agricultural machinery passes on soil infiltration rate. The experiment was conducted in a large covered area (Soil Hall) with the sandy loam soil type. Four compactions levels were applied: control, one, two and three tractor passes.
The infiltration measurements were conducted using two methods: Simplified Falling–Head (SFH) and Mini Disk (MD). The other supporting measurements were disturbed soil samples and cone index measurements.
Based on the SFH method it was observed that as the number of passes increased from 0 to 3 the infiltration rate decreased. The MD results also decreased with the increase in the number of passes. The bulk densities (at 0–0.07 m depth) increased with the number of tractor passes, under the conditions of soil gravimetric moisture content ranging between 14 and 18% vol. The cone index values at the depth of 0–0.05 m increased with the number of passes.
When comparing the results obtained using the MD and SFH, a strong relationship was not found. It could be concluded that the SFH method might be more robust and appropriate for determining the effect of the number of tractor passes on the soil water infiltration in these conditions.