3 Tips For Preventing Soil Compaction During Harvest Time

Posted on: 31 May 2017


As a farmer, the compaction level of your soil is something that you monitor with a soil penetrometer on a regular basis. You need your soil to have a specific compaction rate in order to ensure that your crops grow successfully. You don't want your soil to get too compacted while you are harvesting crops from your fields. Here are three tips for preventing soil compaction during harvest time. 

#1 Establish Travel Lanes

To prevent soil compaction within your fields, you are going to want to set up specific travel lanes for your farm vehicles to drive on and for your farm workers to walk on. 

Set-up dedicated travel lanes for all of your grain carts. To mark off these travel lanes, you can put stake along the route that you want grain carts and vehicles to drive on. You may want to put flags on the path as well so that they stand out better, especially from a distance.

#2 Keep Weight On Vehicles Low

Another way to limit the the soil compaction is by ensuring that you are not driving the vehicles on the established travel lanes with full loads. Try to keep your grain carts below maximum capacity.

It is better for your soil to make multiple trips with grain charts that are only half full, then fewer trips with grain carts that are full or overfilled. You want to limit the force that is pressing down on your soil to limit soil compact in your fields. Make sure that all of your workers know your policy on bringing in grain charts and equipment when they are half-full of harvest items to reduce soil compression.

#3 Check Your Tires

The tires on your farm equipment can impact how much they affect your soil. Make sure that all of your farm equipment has the right sized tires on them. Additionally, you should check the tire pressure on your farm equipment on a daily basis during harvest time. 

The best types of tires to drive on your crop land are large tires that have relatively low air pressure in them. This arrangement will decrease the amount of pressure that your farm equipment exerts on the soil and will decrease the footprint that your equipment leaves on your fields.

To limit soil compact in your fields during harvest time, establish travel lanes, don't overfill your equipment and use large, soft tires to minimize soil compaction. Additionally, use your soil penetrometer on a regular basis to monitor soil compact and ensure that your strategic choices are working correctly for your field.