What Is Soil Compaction, and Why Do I Need to Do It?


Megan Wild 

Large-scale agriculture leaves several after-effects, both good and bad, on the environment. On a global scale, the return to natural living can and will result in a healthier state for people and the planet, but we must guard against local and immediate repercussions on the land and surrounding elements.  

A few commonly known effects include, but are not limited to, land conversion, habitat loss and accidental wasteful water consumption. As agriculture becomes more widespread and farming tools and machines improve, rare situations like soil compaction become more commonplace.


Agriculture's Effects on Soil

Agriculture will inevitably affect the soil. Whether that effect comes in the form of soil erosion and degradation, loss of moisture and deforestation or even full-blown desertification, the future of your field depends on constant vigilance. Some of the rarer occurrences, such as soil compaction, have become more frequent due to the wider use of heavy industrial farming equipment and continuous-row crop planting.

Soil Compaction & Structure

Soil compaction appears in operational fields that are being worked while the earth is wet and susceptible to clumping. A relatively rare occurrence, the threat of soil compaction can alter your soil’s ability to hold and conduct water, nutrients and air — all of which are vital to healthy plant growth and productivity.

3/19/2018 8:33:27 AM

Using the broad fork as she describes is great but do not invert the soil or cover organic materials. Leave it on the surface so Soil life has oxygen and can convert it into humus. If it is too thick simply move it a bit so the seed can be planted. After emerging mulch can be moved around the new plant

11/17/2017 8:15:17 AM

Megan, I grew up on farms owned by Dad and my uncle. Compaction wasn't a problem way back then. But then tractors and equipment weren't the massive units of today either. Soil was tilled more back then and not so many chemicals were used. Yes the yields are ever so much greater but the soil here in Nebraska has become just a medium to hold up the corn stalks. There isn't much life left in the soil. Being a chemical free gardener with raised beds to keep compaction to a minimum and healthy soil is a decision I made years ago. Gardening a vacant lot in the inner city of my city is a challenge. Neighbors have been very accepting about my nontraditional gardening methods. Have a great non compacting day. Nebraska Dave

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