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Title: The effect of low ground pressure and controlled traffic farming systems on soil properties and crop development for three tillage systems
Author: Millington, William Anthony John
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 5156
Awarding Body: Harper Adams University
Current Institution: Harper Adams University
Date of Award: 2019
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Soil management is an integral part of agricultural systems, yet soil degradation from processes such as erosion, loss of organic matter and compaction, as a result of agriculture, is a worldwide environmental problem that threatens future crop yields. Modern crop production systems require increasingly more powerful and heavier machinery and consequential soil compaction is now a major problem, responsible for soil degradation of an area of 33 million ha in Europe. This research examined the effect of differing soil management strategies (three traffic systems: Random Traffic Farming with standard tyre inflation pressure, Random Traffic Farming with low tyre inflation pressure and Controlled Traffic Farming on a sandy loam soil cultivated with three tillage systems: deep (250 mm), shallow (100 mm) and no-till), on crop growth and yield and the corresponding effect on soil physical properties using the innovative technique of X-ray Computed Tomography. There was no significant difference in crop yield between deep and shallow tillage but deep tillage significantly (P=0.030) reduced the soil shear strength, leaving soils prone to compaction by subsequent field traffic. Using shallow rather than deep tillage provides an opportunity to reduce fuel costs associated with the reduction in draft force required for the tillage operations. Zero tillage significantly (P < 0.001) reduced crop yields compared to shallow tillage by up to 15%. As part of this study a novel technique was developed, for determining the total porosity that allowed a comparison of soil porosities derived from bulk density measurements and X-ray CT measured porosities and found that a constant of 31% could be added to the X-ray CT porosities to give the total physical soil porosity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available