Effects of Tractor Ballasting Weights on Compaction of a Sandy Loam Soil

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Al-Hashem, H. A. S.
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan
A field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of tractor ballasting weights on compaction of a sandy loam soil. Three levels of tractor ballast weights were used with a 4-wheel drive tractor. The soil compaction variables measured in the rear tyre track were soil bulk density, cone penetration resistance, infiltration rate and tyre sinkage. The results indicated that increasing tractor tyre weight by using ballasting weights caused a significant increase in both soil bulk density and cone index through the soil layer. Among the different compaction treatments, the highest compaction treatment (full ballast) resulted in 22% increase in soil bulk density at depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm. The cone index was increased up to 102% over the depth of 0-25 cm compared to untrafficked (control) treatment. All compaction treatments significantly reduced the initial infiltration rate and cumulative infiltration of the soil. However, the reduction in cumulative infiltration of soil under high compaction treatment reached up to 80% compared to the control. Measurement of tyre sinkage differentiated between treatments. The greatest sinkage was observed under high compaction treatment providing 73 mm, whereas this value is equal to1.7 times sinkage of zero ballast treatment. The regression analysis done between the measured compaction variables showed high correlation between soil bulk density and each of cone index, initial infiltration rate and cumulative infiltration giving coefficients of determination (R2) of 0.98, 0.91 and 0.92, respectively. Tyre sinkage and cumulative infiltration were highly correlated (R2 =0.94).
Page(s): 12 (2),155-172, 21 Ref.