Diagnosing Soil Compaction Using a Penetrometer

The Rationale for the Penetrometer
Soil compaction is a serious concern for farmers in Pennsylvania. Soil compaction can easily reduce crop yields by 10 percent, and can lead to water and soil quality degradation due to increased runoff and soil structure destruction. The continuous consolidation of farms means that herds are growing, more forage is harvested per farm, more manure is being produced, larger equipment is used to spread manure and harvest and transport forages and grain, and the opportunity to tailor field operations to optimum soil conditions for traffic is decreasing. Compaction is therefore an issue that will likely increase in importance in the years to come.

Penn State Extension: Agronomy Facts 63 – Diagnosing Soil Compaction Using a Penetrometer (Soil Compaction Tester) Prepared by Sjoerd W. Duiker, assistant professor of soil management.
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