Deep soil compaction adversely impacts crop productivity and its effects endure over a long period of time. It is important to educate farmers on the causes of deep compaction. The Terranimo® tool, a European Web-based platform, simulates the effects of farm equipment traffic on soil compaction by calculating the depth propagation of soil surface loads.
This tool was developed in Europe and validated with a series of test benches that assessed most tires available on the market inflated to various pressures and with applied loads that simulated most types of farming equipment (tractors, trailers, self-propelled machinery). The software, which will be adapted to Québec conditions, will include specific equipment and will optimize tractor balancing. It will also incorporate typical soil and water content profiles that can be selected from an on-line soil map. An apparatus consisting of Bolling-type pressure sensors connected to a computer or programmable logic controller will also be created to measure deep compaction (during demonstration days) in order to provide farmers with tangible results and enhance their knowledge of soil compaction. Lastly, educational material, which will be presented during training days, will be developed to facilitate use of the software, including a document on the causes and effects of deep soil compaction.
From 2019 to 2022
Field crops, Market gardening
This tool will be a valuable asset in the effort to maintain and improve soil health.
Bern University of Applied Sciences
This project relies on the continuous measurement of field water table heights; water exports; as well as sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus runoff into drains at four field-crop production sites.
Researcher: Aubert Michaud
The project compared the nitrogen uptake effects of green manure crops grown for a full season, in association with a main crop, or after it is harvested.
The project was designed to assess the profitability of various types of cover crops and planting methods at the farm level.
Researcher: Luc Belzile