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Measuring soil compaction
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Posted 7/11/2019 22:04 (#7609791)
Subject: Measuring soil compaction

Can’t define the best forum to post this but in the end, it is all about crop yield.

Interested in the relationship between soil compaction and yield. At one level, tramlines can control/minimize the problem. But the existing research indicates that the issue is far more complicated than typically thought. EU research has shown that remediation isn’t straight forward either. The equipment needed to collect the data needed to develop an understanding of the relationships between all of the relevant factors exists (at least in concept)but the people needed to analyze the data (to turn data into information and knowledge) doesn’t. Have identified a validated horizontal penetrometer from the research world (0 to 24” at 2” intervals) as a first step. Can pay an engineering company (a not unreasonable amount of money) to clone the system since the research program was shut down several years ago, but it is not fun to drown in data (which will happen with the first real run without a collaborative group). At the same time, it is clear (to me anyway), that soil compaction data from my fields has limited value in understanding the interactions of the relevant issues.

As an alternative, am considering cloud sourcing the project to farmers with a background/interests in ag mechanical engineering, electronics, GPS/GIS, software, data analysis, etc. They would get paid for “services provided in developing a clone” and access to a penetrometer and other relevant equipment for use on their own operations. Haven’t found anyone who has attempted (successfully or not) this kind of an approach in ag.

Thoughts would be appreciated. E-mail is good.

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