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The effect of controlled traffic on soil physical properties and tillage requirements for vegetable production


McPhee, JE and Aird, PL and Hardie, MA and Corkrey, SR, The effect of controlled traffic on soil physical properties and tillage requirements for vegetable production, Soil and Tillage Research, 149 pp. 33-45. ISSN 0167-1987 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.still.2014.12.018


Demands for increased work rates and more timely operations in vegetable production have led to the use of more powerful and heavier machinery over the past 20 years. Increased vehicle weight, frequency of tillage, and capacity to work soil at sub-optimal moisture contents has increased soil compaction, and the tillage effort required for remediation. Despite conclusive evidence from other industries that controlled traffic systems improve soil conditions, reduce inputs, and overall improve productivity, such systems have not been widely adopted in vegetable production. Trials were established on red ferrosols in northern Tasmania to determine the effect of controlled traffic on soil compaction and penetration resistance, and the number of tillage operations required to prepare a seedbed for vegetable production. Potential mechanical, logistical or agronomic barriers to adoption of controlled traffic systems in vegetable production were also identified. Controlled traffic treatments demonstrated improvements in soil physical properties, and 2060% fewer tillage operations, compared to conventional production systems. However, the measured benefits of controlled traffic were variable over the duration of the research studies due to limitations of current mechanisation. Adoption of controlled traffic in the vegetable production sector is currently limited by track gauge and working width incompatibility across the diverse range of equipment used, and machinery tracking issues associated with undulating topography.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:controlled traffic, vegetables, machinery, soil compaction, bulk density, yield
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Horticultural production not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Field grown vegetable crops
UTAS Author:McPhee, JE (Mr John McPhee)
UTAS Author:Hardie, MA (Mr Marcus Hardie)
UTAS Author:Corkrey, SR (Dr Ross Corkrey)
ID Code:98157
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-02-03
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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