The effects of tillage, cover crop and cropping systems on confined compression behavior of a sandy loam soil

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 MSc Students, Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

3 PhD Students, Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


The confined compression curve (CCC) of soil and its parameters reflect the impact of management operations such as tillage, cover crops, and intercropping on the physical and mechanical properties of the soil. No research has investigated the simultaneous effect of these three factors on the CCC. Therefore, the effects of two different tillage systems, moldboard plowing (MP, conventional tillage) and chisel plowing (CP, reduced tillage), combined with cover crop (CC) and without cover crop (NC) (i.e., planting Lathyrus sativus as/without cover crop) and three cropping systems (summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and their intercropping) were investigated on soil compaction characteristics. Next, the CCC of the soil was measured, and its parameters were derived. In MP-CC treatment compared to MP-NC, the compression index (0.43) decreased and pre-compression stress increased by 19%. The low organic matter in NC-summer squash treatment reduced the swelling index (soil mechanical resilience) compared to other treatments in the ranges of 4.76-33%. Besides, MP increased the loading swelling index compared to CP by 33%. Overall, the best management was the application of the CP-CC under intercropping of summer squash with green beans because it reduced the soil compaction. Moreover, CP improved the soil’s physical-mechanical properties.


Main Subjects

Abdalla M., Hastings A., Cheng K., Yue Q., Chadwick D., Espenberg M., Truu J., Rees R.M., & Smith P. (2019). A critical review of the impacts of cover crops on nitrogen leaching, net greenhouse gas balance and crop productivity. Global change biology. 25(8), 2530-2543.
Adetunji A.T., Ncube B., Mulidzi R., & Lewu F.B. (2020). Management impact and benefit of cover crops on soil quality: A review. Soil and Tillage Research204, 104717.
Aksakal, E. L., & Serdar, A. I. (2016). Effects of vermicompost application on soil aggregation and certain physical properties. Land Degradation & Development , 27(4), 983-995.
Arshad M.A., B. Lowery., &  Grossman. B. (1996). Physical tests for monitoring soil quality. In: J.W. Doran & A.J. Jones (Eds.), Methods for Assessing Soil Quality (pp. 123-142). Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.
Beare M., Hendrix P., Coleman D. (1994). Water‐stable aggregates and organic matter fractions in conventional‐and no‐tillage soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal58(3), 777-786.
Biberdzic M., Barac S., Lalevic D., Djikic A., Prodanovic D., & Rajicic V. (2020). Influence of soil tillage system on soil compaction and winter wheat yield. Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research, 80(1), 80-89.
Braida, J. A., Reichert, J. M., Veiga, M. D., & Reinert, D. J. (2006). Mulch and soil organic carbon content and their relationship with the maximum soil density obtained in the proctor test. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo30, 605-614.
Bruce, R. C., & Rayment, G. E. (1982). Analytical methods and interpretations used by the Agricultural Chemistry Branch for soil and land use surveys. Queensland Department of Primary Industries. Bulletin QB8 (2004), Indooroopilly, Queensland.
Carrizo M.E., Alesso C.A., Cosentino D., & Imhoff S. (2015). Aggregation agents and structural stability in soils with different texture and organic carbon contents. Scientia Agricola, 72, 75-82.
Casagrande, A. (1936). The determination of the pre-consolidation load and its practical significance. In Proc. 1st Int. Conf. Soil Mech. (pp. 3-60)
Celik, I. (2011). Effects of Tillage Methods on Penetration Resistance, Bulk Density and Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity in a Clayey Soil Conditions. Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 17(2), 143-156.
Chamen, T. (2015). Controlled traffic farming–from worldwide research to adoption in Europe and its future prospects. Acta Technologica Agriculturae, 18(3), 64-73.
Choudhury, S. G., Srivastava, S., Singh, R., Chaudhari, S. K., Sharma, D. K., Singh, S. K., & Sarkar, D. (2014). Tillage and residue management effect on soil aggregation, organic carbon dynamics and yield attribute in rice-wheacroping system under reclaimed sodic soil. Soil and Tillage Research, 136, 76-83
Fernández-Ugalde, O. I. H. A. N. E., Virto, I., Bescansa, P., Imaz, M. J., Enrique, A., & Karlen, D. L. (2009). No-tillage improvement of soil physical quality in calcareous, degradation-prone, semiarid soils. Soil and Tillage Research106(1), 29-35.
Galdos, M. V., Pires, L. F., Cooper, H. V., Calonego, J. C., Rosolem, C. A., & Mooney, S. J. (2019). Assessing the long-term effects of zero-tillage on the macroporosity of Brazilian soils using X-ray Computed Tomography. Geoderma, 337, 1126-1135.
Gee, G. W., & Bauder, J. W. (1986). Particle‐size analysis. Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 1 Physical and Mineralogical Methods 5, 383-411.
Ghorbani R., Rashed Mohassel, M. H., Hosseini, S. A., Mousavi, S. K. & Ghalibaf K.H. (2009) Sustainable weed management. Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Press:924.
Gompertz, B. (1825). On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London, (115), 513-583.
Gregory, A. S., Whalley, W. R., Watts, C. W., Bird, N. R. A., Hallett, P. D., & Whitmore, A. P. (2006). Calculation of the compression index and precompression stress from soil compression test data. Soil and Tillage Research, 89(1), 45-57.
Grossman, R. B., & Reinsch, T. G. (2002). 2.1 Bulk density and linear extensibility. Methods of soil analysis: Part 4 physical methods, 5, 201-228. Madison.
Haghighi, F., Gorji, M., & Shorafa, M. (2010).A study of the effects of land use changes on soil physical properties and organic matter. Land Degradation & Development, 21(5), 496-502.
Hazelton, P., & Murphy, B. (2016). Interpreting soil test results: what do all the numbers mean?,. In G.E. Rayment & F.R. Higginson (Eds.), CSIRO publishing (pp. 60). Collinwood, Melbourne.
Higashi, T., Yunghui, M., Komatsuzaki, M., Miura, S., Hirata, T., Araki, H., ... & Ohta, H. (2014). Tillage and cover crop species affect soil organic carbon in Andosol, Kanto, Japan. Soil and Tillage Research138, 64-72.
Hillel, D. (1982). Soil temperature and heat flow. In D. Hillel (Eds.), Introduction to Soil Physics (pp. 287-317). Academic Press, New York.
Horn, R., Richards, B. G., Gräsle, W., Baumgartl, T., & Wiermann, C. (1998). Theoretical principles for modelling soil strength and wheeling effects —a review—. Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernährung und Bodenkunde, 161(4), 333-346.
Howard, R. F., Singer, M. J., & Frantz, G. A. (1981). Effects of soil properties, water content, and compactive effort on the compaction of selected California forest and range soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 45(2), 231-236.
Johnson, C. E., & Bailey, A. C. (2002). Soil compaction. Advances in Soil Dynamics, 2, 155-178.
Keller, T., Lamandé, M., Schjønning, P., & Dexter, A. R. (2011). Analysis of soil compression curves from uniaxial confined compression tests. Geoderma, 163(1-2), 13-23.
Keller, T., Sandin, M., Colombi, T., Horn, R., & Or, D. (2019). Historical increase in agricultural machinery weights enhanced soil stress levels and adversely affected soil functioning. Soil and Tillage Research, 194, 104293
Keller, T., & Arvidsson, J. (2007). Compressive properties of some Swedish and Danish structured agricultural soils measured in uniaxial compression tests. European Journal of Soil Science, 58(6), 1373-1381.
Kemper, W. D., & Rosenau, R. C. (1986). Aggregate stability and size distribution. Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 1 Physical and mineralogical methods, 5, 425-442.
Koolen A.a., Kuipers H. (1983) Agricultural Soils Mechanics. Advanced Series in Agricultural Science, 13, Springer Verlag Heidelberg.
Kuan, H. L., Hallett, P. D., Griffiths, B. S., Gregory, A. S., Watts, C. W., & Whitmore, A. P. (2007). The biological and physical stability and resilience of a selection of Scottish soils to stresses. European Journal of Soil Science, 58(3), 811-821.
Larson, W. E., & Pierce, F. J. (1994). The dynamics of soil quality as a measure of sustainable management. Defining soil quality for a sustainable environment, 35, 37-51.
Li, Y., Li, Z., Cui, S., Jagadamma, S., & Zhang, Q. (2019). Residue retention and minimum tillage improve physical environment of the soil in croplands: A global meta-analysis. Soil and Tillage Research, 194, 104292.
Liebman M., & Davis A. (2000). Integration of soil, crop and weed management in low-external-input farming systems. Weed research, 40(1), 27-47.
Lima, R. P., Rolim, M. M., Oliveira, V. S., Silva, A. R., Pedrosa, E. M. R., & Ferreira, R. L. C. (2015). Load-bearing capacity and its relationships with the physical and mechanical attributes of cohesive soil. Journal of Terramechanics, 58, 51-58.
Mazaheri, D. (2008). Intercropping. (2nd Ed.). Tehran, Iran. (In Farsi).
McKenzie, D., & Rapoport, H. (2010). Self-selection patterns in Mexico-US migration: the role of migration networks. the Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(4), 811-821.
Metson, A. J. (1961). Methods of chemical analysis for soil survey samples. Soil Bureau Bulletin No. 12, New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Government Printer: Wellington, New Zealand: 168–175.
Mousavi, S. B., Uteau, D., & Peth, S. (2022). Assessment of mechanical elasticity of soils based on confined compression tests. Soil and Tillage Research, 221, 105389.
Sleighter, R. L., Caricasole, P., Richards, K. M., Hanson, T., & Hatcher, P. G. (2015). Characterization of terrestrial dissolved organic matter fractionated by pH and polarity and their biological effects on plant growth. Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture, 2, 1-19.
Rhoades, J. D., Kandiah, A., & Mashali, A. M. (1992). The use of saline waters for crop production FAO irrigation and drainage paper 48. FAO, Rome, 133.
Saleem, M., Pervaiz, Z. H., Contreras, J., Lindenberger, J. H., Hupp, B. M., Chen, D., Zhang Q., Wang C., Iqbal J., & Twigg P. (2020). Cover crop diversity improves multiple soil properties via altering root architectural traits. Rhizosphere, 16, 100248.
Salih, A. A., Babikir, H. M., & Ali, S. A. M. (1998). Preliminary observations on effects of tillage systems on soil physical properties, cotton root growth and yield in Gezira Scheme, Sudan. Soil and Tillage Research, 46(3-4), 187-191.
Shaheb M.R., Venkatesh R., & Shearer, S. A. (2021). A review on the effect of soil compaction and its management for sustainable crop production. Journal of Biosystems Engineering, 46(3), 1-23.
Shirani, H., Hajabbasi, M.A., Afyuni, M., Hemmat, A. (2009). Effect of tillage systems and organic fertilizers on the soil penetration resistance under corn cultivation. Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 51(4), 141-154.
Habtegebrial, K., Singh, B. R., & Haile, M. (2007). Impact of tillage and nitrogen fertilization on yield, nitrogen use efficiency of tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) and soil properties. Soil and Tillage Research, 94(1), 55-63.
Slowińska-Jurkiewicz, A. (1994). Changes in the structure and physical properties of soil during spring tillage operations. Soil and Tillage Research, 29(4), 397-407.
Sullivan, E. J., Reimus, P. W., & Counce, D. A. (2003). Transport of a reactive tracer in saturated alluvium described using a three-component cation-exchange model. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 62, 675-694.
Tullberg J.Y., Yule, D.F. & McGarry, D. (2007) Controlled traffic farming—from research to adoption in Australia. Soil and Tillage Research, 97(2), 272-281.
Villamil, M. B., Bollero, G. A., Darmody, R. G., Simmons, F. W., & Bullock, D. G. (2006). No-till corn/soybean systems including winter cover crops. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 70(6), 1936-1944.
Walkley, A., & Black, I. A. (1934). An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil science, 37(1), 29-38.
Zotarelli, L., Alves, B. J. R., Urquiaga, S., Boddey, R. M., & Six, J. (2007). Impact of tillage and crop rotation on light fraction and intra-aggregate soil organic matter in two Oxisols. Soil and Tillage Research, 95(1-2), 196-206.

تحت نظارت وف ایرانی