Synnøve Rivedal

Research Scientist

(+47) 975 85 474
synnove.rivedal@nibio.no

Place
Fureneset

Visiting address
Fure, 6967 Hellevik i fjaler

Abstract

A future wetter climate in Northern Europe may increase soil compaction from traffic of heavy machinery. This study investigated the impact of tractor traffic on grassland yield, soil physical properties and penetration resistance in three experimental field trials in Norway; on medium sand at Tjøtta, Nordland, on silty medium sand at Fureneset, Sogn og Fjordane and on silt at Løken, Oppland. The experiments were conducted in a split-plot design with three levels of two wheel-by-wheel passes with tractor traffic after each cut: no traffic, light tractor or heavy tractor on large plots, and three different seed mixtures on small plots. The yield reduction by tractor traffic was 26% at Løken, 4% at Fureneset and 1% at Tjøtta. There was a positive correlation between soil moisture content and yield reduction by traffic. Tractor traffic reduced pore volume and air capacity and increased bulk density, compaction degree and penetration resistance with the largest effect at Løken and the smallest at Tjøtta. There were no statistically significant differences in yield or soil physical properties between light and heavy tractor. The study shows that soil texture and soil moisture content are major factors explaining traffic effects on soil physical properties and grassland yield.