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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Development of An on-the-Fly Mechanical Impedance Sensor and Evaluation in a Coastal Plains Soil

item Donoghue, Ann
item Reeves, Donald

Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 3, 2000
Publication Date: July 3, 2000
Citation: Hall, H.E., Raper, R.L., Grift, T.E., Reeves, D.W. 2000. Development of an on-the-fly mechanical impedance sensor and evaluation in a coastal plains soil. Proceedings of the 15th ISTRO Conference, Ft. Worth, TX. July 3-7.

Technical Abstract: Root-restricting soil layers reduce crop yields in the Southeastern United States almost every year due to temporary periods of drought. Subsoiling beneath these layers is an annual practice for most farmers in this region as a method of removing this barrier and improving rooting conditions. Currently, farmers could use a soil cone penetrometer to determine the depth of their root-restrictive layer in a few locations within a field and then set their tillage depth to exceed all of these. However, significant energy savings could be achieved if some method of sensing the depth of this layer was available on-the-go and adjustments could in turn be made to tillage depth. A prototype design of an on-the-fly mechanical impedance sensor was developed as a possible alternative to the cone penetrometer and as a method of sensing the depth of the root-impeding layer. Several versions of this sensor were evaluated in a sandy loam soil bin at the USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory. The sensor was able to detect compacted soil profiles in a similar fashion as the cone penetrometer. Further research with this sensor could lead to methods of quickly and easily mapping soil compaction within fields.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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