At present, the orchard ditching and fertilizing technology has a series of problems, such as easy tree roots damage, high energy consumption and uneven fertilizing. In this paper, a gas explosion subsoiling and fertilizer injection machine was designed, which used high pressure gas to shock soil body and then injected fertilizer. The drill pipe mechanism with pneumatic chipping hammer excitation and hydraulic assistance was designed to drill the soil. The operation of gas and liquid fertilizer supply was controlled by PLC system. The 3D model of the whole machine was established by using SolidWorks software. The machine prototype was produced, and field experiments were carried out. The results showed that soil fractures were created and diffused by gas explosion, and the subsoiling effect radius reached 40 cm under the condition of 0.8 MPa gas pressure and 30 cm drilling depth. What’s more, the work efficiency is 0.048 hm2/h at least. This machine could meet the agronomic requirements of orchard, garden and city greening fertilization, and the tree roots were not easily damaged and the fertilizer evenly distributed, which was conducive to nutrient absorption of root growth.
Soil compaction induced by a tractor towing trailer becomes a major problem associated to sugarcane productivity. Soil beneath the tractor’s tire is not only under compressing stress but also shearing stress. Therefore, in order to help to understand such effects on soil, this research aimed to determine stress state in soil and predict compaction of soil under a tractive tire. The octahedral stress ratios under the tires were higher than one and much higher under higher draft forces. Moreover, the ratio was increasing with increase of number of tire’s passage. Soil compaction model was developed using data acquired from triaxial tests. The model was then used to predict soil bulk density under tractive tire. The maximum error was about 4% at 15 cm depth under lower draft force and tended to increase with depth and draft force. At depth of 30 cm and under higher draft force, the maximum error was about 16%.
Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.
Soil tillage systems can be able to influence soil compaction, water dynamics, soil temperature and crop yield. These processes can be expressed as changes of soil microbiological activity, soil respiration and sustainability of agriculture. Objectives of this study were: 1 - to assess the effects of tillage systems (Conventional System (CS), Minimum Tillage (MT), No-Tillage (NT)) on soil compaction, soil temperature, soil moisture and soil respiration and 2- to establish the effect of the changes on the production of wheat, maize and soybean. Five treatments were installed: CS-plough; MT-paraplow, chisel, rotary grape; NT-direct sowing. The study was conducted on an Argic-Stagnic Faeoziom. The MT and NT applications reduce or completely eliminate the soil mobilization, due to this; soil is compacted in the first year of application. The degree of compaction is directly related to soil type and its state of degradation. The state of soil compaction diminished over time, tending toward a specific type of soil density. Soil moisture was higher in NT and MT at the time of sowing and in the early stages of vegetation and differences diminished over time. Moisture determinations showed statistically significant differences. The MT and NT applications reduced the thermal amplitude in the first 15cm of soil depth and increased the soil temperature by 0.5-2.20C. Water dynamics and soil temperature showed no differences on the effect of crop yields. The determinations confirm the effect of soil tillage system on soil respiration; the daily average was lower at NT (315-1914 mmoli m-2s-1) and followed by MT (318-2395 mmoli m-2s-1) and is higher in the CS (321-2480 mmol m-2s-1). Comparing with CS, all the four conservation tillage measures decreased soil respiration, with the best effects of no-tillage. Although wheat production at MT and NT applications, had no significant differences soybean production was significantly affected from MT and NT applications. The differences in crop yields are recorded at maize and can be a direct consequence of loosening, mineralization and intensive mobilization of soil fertility.
Organic farming systems still depend on intensive, mechanical soil tillage. Frequent passes by machinery traffic cause substantial soil compaction that threatens soil health. Adopting practices as reduced tillage and organic matter retention on the soil surface are considered effective ways to control soil compaction. In tropical regions, however, the acceleration of soil organic matter decomposition and soil carbon turnover on the topsoil layer is influenced more rapidly by the oscillation process of drying and wetting. It is hypothesized therefore, that rapid reduction in soil organic matter hastens the potential for compaction to occur in organic farming systems. Compaction changes soil physical properties and as a consequence it has been implicated as a causal agent in the inhibition of natural disease suppression in soils. Here we describe relationships between soil management in organic vegetable systems, soil compaction, and declining soil capacity to suppress pathogenic microorganisms.