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

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