American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Soil Compaction in Sugarcane Fields Induced by Mechanization

Prathuang Usaborisut and Watcharachan Sukcharoenvipharat

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2011.418.422

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 3

Pages 418-422

Abstract

Problem statement: Recently in Thailand, the problem of soil compaction, especially associated with more mechanized sugarcane production, has drawn attention from both the government and private sectors. Approach: To understand this problem, investigations of soil compaction using cone penetration resistance and bulk density were conducted in 16 sugarcane fields with 10 fields involving mechanized farming and 6 field's mainly manual labor farming. Results: It was found that the highest bulk density was 1.78 kg m-3 with mechanized farming while the lowest value was 1.24 kg m-3 in the fields cultivated using manual labor. The average value of soil bulk density samples under mechanized farming was 12.6% significantly higher than under manual labor. Cone penetration resistance across cane rows could be significantly divided into two layers at a depth of 45 cm, with the lower layer having higher penetration resistance. The average value of penetration resistance under mechanized farming was 23.3% higher than from manual labor. Cone penetration resistance values exceeded 2 MPa, especially for the fields with more years with ratoon canes and in fields subjected to mechanized farming. Under manual labor farming, the soil cone penetration resistance across cane rows showed a pattern of less scattering at depths less than 45 cm. Conclusion: Soil compaction induced by mechanization was clarified to some extent.

Copyright

© 2011 Prathuang Usaborisut and Watcharachan Sukcharoenvipharat. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.