Soil compaction in sugarcane fields induced by mechanization

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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.




Usaborisut, P., & Sukcharoenvipharat, W. (2011). Soil compaction in sugarcane fields induced by mechanization. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science, 6(3), 418–422.

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