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
Canola and wheat (wheat-corn-canola rotation) were planted in 2016 and 2017, respectively, on 12 experimental plots with tillage practices on the main plots (minimum tillage and chisel plow) and fertilization methods (mineral fertilizers, 25 m3/ha of pig manure and 50 m3/ha of pig manure) in the subplots.
IRDA—in its capacity as the authorized representative tasked with revising the MAPAQ fertilization reference charts—will plan, coordinate, and monitor all activities involved in updating these charts.
Researcher: Christine Landry
This project looks to develop decision-support tools informed by observations of “bellwether” plots and use these tools to disseminate relevant information to irrigators.
Researcher: Carl Boivin