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Soil Compaction in Alfalfa Fields

Soil Compaction in Alfalfa Fields

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Soil Compaction in Alfalfa Fields

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  1. Soil Compaction in Alfalfa Fields Ronald T. Schuler, Professor Extension Agricultural Engineer Biological Systems Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison

  2. Soil Compaction • Causes include combinations of: • Wheel Traffic • Tillage • Precipitation • Types • Surface • Subsoil

  3. Loam soil by volume Non-compacted Compacted

  4. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  5. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  6. Contact Area-Size-Diameter(Firestone) Tire Size Tire Dia. Area(in2) Radial TiresFlat 3”Sinkage 18.4R34 65.1 320 720 18.4R38 69.0 340 740 18.4R42 73.0 350 760 18.4R46 77.0 365 780 Bias Tires 18.4-34 65.4 284 653 18.4-38 69.3 300 675

  7. Contact Area-Size-Width(Firestone) Tire Size Tire WidthArea(in2) Radial TiresFlat 3”Sinkage 16.9R38 16.9 255 660 18.4R38 18.4 340 740 20.8R38 20.8 390 870 Bias Tires 16.9-38 16.9 252 629 18.4-38 18.4 300 675

  8. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  9. Impact of Tire Pressure 6 psi 18 psi

  10. Inflation pressure-slight tire bulge with the proper pressure on radial ply tires 6 psi 18 psi Bulge

  11. Top View: Measured soil-tire interface stress (psi) distribution of an 18.4R38 tire

  12. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias ply • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  13. Radial vs. Bias Ply Tires Contact Area

  14. At Proper Inflation Pressure, Radials have greater Contact Area

  15. Tractor Manufacturer RecommendationsTire Size – 18.4-34 Pressures-psi Axle Load (lbs) Radial Bias 5500 6 16 6000 7 16 6500 7 16 7000 8 16 7500 9 16 8000 10 16 8500 12 16 9000 13 16 9500 14 16 10000 15 16

  16. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  17. Impact of soil moisture on compaction(depth and sinkage) 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 Hard dry soil Normal Wet soil Depth, In.

  18. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  19. Wheel alignment-harvester and wagon Wheels should follow in same track

  20. Wheel alignment- tractor and wagon

  21. Small Square Baler-Bottom FeedWheels aligned-tractor, baler and wagon

  22. Mid-Size Rectangular BalerWheels aligned-tractor and baler

  23. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  24. Sickle Cutterbar-Roll Conditioner14-foot width

  25. Self-propelled mower-conditioner

  26. Front self unloading wagon

  27. Wheel Alignment –harvester and wagon

  28. Dual rake merging two windrows

  29. Merger - Picks up one windrow and places it on the adjacent one

  30. Merging three windrows into one

  31. 1 Mower-conditioner-pull or self-propelled2 Mower conditioner width, feet3 Rake-to rake, merge or do not rake two windrows together4 Area covered by wheel traffic if uniformly distributed5 T-M/A – ton miles per acre System Comparisons-three cuttings per year Type1 Width2 (ft) Rake3 Area4 T-M/A5 Pull 13 None 4.0 50 Pull 16 None 3.4 44 Pull 13 Rake 3.2 35 Pull 16 Rake 2.7 33 Self-Prop 16 Rake 3.1 32 Self-Prop 16 Merge 3.0 32 Pull 13 Merge 3.4 37 Self-Prop 13 Merge(Dbl) 2.8 27 Self-Prop 16 Merge(Dbl) 2.3 32

  32. Compaction Issues • Tires • Size • Inflation pressure • Tire design, radial vs. bias • Machinery • Avoid wet soil • Wheel alignment • Machine selection • Machine weight

  33. Tractor ballasting criteria Towed Load wt. vs. Max.Speed Towing machine wt. mph 1 to 1 20 2 to 1 10 More than 2 to 1 Do not tow

  34. Concluding Remarks • Select appropriate tire • Use proper tire pressure • Align wheels • Reduce traffic of large equipment • Use safe towing machine weight

  35. The End