Soil compaction is a problem with which more and more farmers get confronted every year. Since the 1980’s, scientist and researcher Jan van den Akker has been working on soil management, water management and environmental science. Zuidberg was thankful Jan was willing to give us a seminar on the practical threats of soil compaction during our Partner Event last November.
Jan explains that soil compaction is mainly caused by three factors: high loads per wheel, driving on subsoil when ploughing and driving on wet soil. One long-term research project in the USA showed that when working on a field with wheel loads of 9 tonnes, crop yield decreased by an average of 6 percent.
If you look at the Netherlands, better soil management can be linked to a higher yield. Jan explains the results of research done in sugar beet farming in the Netherlands:
“… They found out that top farmers, that are the farmers who take great care for their soil as well as have good overall farm management, have 20% more [yield] than the average farmer. That is not compared to a bad farmer, but an average farmer. And that means a lot of money for these people”.
But how do you take care of your soil in such a way to create that big of a difference? Jan discourages the use of high loads. You should compensate your load with the strength of the subsoil. When you do have to work with higher loads, track systems are the best solution.
To see more on the research of Jan van den Akker and international researchers, please see www.soilcompaction.eu.
For more information on Zuidberg’s solution to soil compaction, please see our video: https://youtu.be/WUj7NCqcIBM