Soil compaction, caused by field traffic and heavy machinery use, especially under wet conditions, can be a significant issue for soybean production. Symptoms can include restricted root growth and stunted plants.
Soil compaction can restrict root growth and ultimately nutrient and water uptake. In severe cases soil compaction can cause stunted plants. If the roots hit a hardpan layer caused by soil compaction from use of heavy machinery, vertical root growth may be inhibited and lateral root growth may occur. Compacted soils can also intensify runoff of water and nutrients, making these critical plant resources unavailable for uptake by the soybean plant.
Avoid field operations with heavy machinery when soil moisture is at or near field capacity. Reduced tillage practices can slow the onset of soil compaction, encourage residue cover, and reduce erosion and excessive runoff. Soil resistance can be measured as a mechanism to capture compaction in your fields.
Soil Compaction May be Cutting into Your Yield (Iowa State University)
Publication date: Aug. 4, 2020
N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.