Monday, March 17, 2014

Do Rocks Solve the Problem of Soil Compaction?

Are rocks our bane or our bonus? It has been a long standing myth that the freeze thaw cycle, which causes rocks to rise up out of the ground, makes compaction no problem in our area.  
A 2013 study clearly refutes that myth.  Soil Compaction: Causes, Effects, and Control refutes two long held beliefs and can be read by clicking on the link.
First: The freeze/ thaw cycle is not adequate to stop compaction in our fields.
Second: Deep Tillage is not a complete fix.
The freeze thaw cycle brings up our unending supply of rocks. 
However, the inconsistent scattering of rocks makes it insufficient to address the problem. Even the tractors and implements used to remove the rocks on the surface contribute to the compaction in the field.
There are two basic types of compaction: Surface, which can be caused by something as small as raindrops, and Deep caused by heavier objects and longer surface pressure. 
Research data, done by universities and industry are important to the improvement of agriculture. However, each farmer must analyze the research data and implement plans to limit and address compaction on their farms. 
More on this tomorrow, from GriggsDakota.

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