Understanding and Managing Soil Compaction
A listing of research-based, University resources. Not intended to be an absolute, all-encompassing listing, as there are private company resources which may add to your understanding, as well. All of the resources listed here are available free to download or view.
University of Wisconsin (UW) Information
A4158: Managing Soil Compaction at Planting and Harvest. Reviews all aspects of compaction, including effects of differing traffic patterns on compaction. Authored by UW Soil Scientists Francisco Arriaga and Geoffrey Siemering and Biological Systems Engineer Brian Luck. Located at: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0145/8808/4272/files/A4158.pdf
A3367: Soil Compaction: Causes, concerns, and cures. Publication provides more detail regarding compaction issues, mitigation, and effects. Specific yield and bulk density data presented showing impacts of differing practices which cause and/or mitigate compaction, as well as situations where compactions effects are magnified. Authored by Richard Wolkowski and Birl Lowery, UW Soil Scientists.
Located at: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0145/8808/4272/files/A3367.pdf
There are ruts out in my field: Dealing with wet soils in the fall. Outlines strategies to mitigate soil compaction and rutting after fall field activities. Authored by Francisco Arriaga, UW Soil Scientist, and William Halfman, Monroe County Agriculture Agent. Posted in WI Crop Manager on Nov. 14, 2019.
Located at: https://ipcm.wisc.edu/blog/2019/11/there-are-ruts-out-in-my-field-dealing-with-wet-soils-in-the-fall/
Soil Compaction is Not Easily Reversed. Hoard’s Dairyman article in January 25, 2020 edition. Discusses soil compaction identification and potential cover crop and rotational strategies to reduce compaction over time. Authored by Jamie Patton, Outreach Specialist with UW Nutrient & Pest Management Program. Refer to Hoard’s edition or contact author at firstname.lastname@example.org for the article.
UW Information specific to measuring and locating soil compaction
A4144: Proper Use of Cone Penetrometers for Detecting Soil Compaction. Publication in support of Youtube videos referenced below, Authored by Francisco Arriaga, UW Soil Scientist.
Located at: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0145/8808/4272/files/A4144.pdf
Tools for measuring soil compaction/Using a penetrometer. Demonstration of using soil proves, shovels, soil excavations, and penetrometers to locate soil compaction. Featuring Francisco Arriaga and Jamie Patton, UW Soil Scientists. Both around 5 minutes in length.
Other University’s Resources
Soil Compaction. Relatively in-depth web page with information on causes, effects, and management of soil compaction. Authored by Jodi Dejong-Hughes, Univ. of Minnesota Extension Educator.
Located at: https://extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/soil-compaction
PM 1901b Understanding & Managing Soil Compaction. Focuses on effects of compaction, with yield data, and traffic pattern planning as a management tool, with other information. Authored by Iowa State Univ. Agricultural Engineer Mark Hanna and Soil Scientist Mahdi M. Al-Kaisi. Located at: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/5498
Soil Compaction and What You Can Do About It. Easy to read synopsis of soil compaction effects. Written by Mahdi M. Al-Kaisi, Iowa State University Soil Scientist.
Located at: https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews/2016/07/soil-compaction-and-what-you-can-do-about-it
Soil Compaction on Vegetable Farms. Basic discussion of issues and alleviation techniques, with some techniques specific to smaller acre operations. Authored by Vern Grubinger, Univ. of Vermont Vegetable and Berry Extension Specialist. Located at: https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/Soil_Compaction_on_Vegetable_Farms.pdf
ID-153: Assessing and Preventing Soil Compaction in Kentucky. Overview of compaction and impacts. Final page is a tracking sheet for penetrometer usage. Authored by Schwab, Murdock, and Wells.
Located at: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id153/id153.pdf
SAG-10: The Biology of Soil Compaction. Ohio State University Extension publication focusing on in-soil biology and soil aggregate dynamics. Authored by Hoorman, Moraes Sa, and Reeder.
Located at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/SAG-10
Stuck in a Rut: How to deal with field ruts this spring. Outlines rut management, with links to other resources. Authored by Sara Bauder, South Dakota St. Univ. Agronomy Field Specialist.
Located at: https://extension.sdstate.edu/stuck-rut-how-deal-field-ruts-spring
Links are current as of April, 2020. If you find any broken links, please contact one of the UW-Madison compilers of this document, Scott Reuss, Division of Extension Agriculture Agent in Marinette County, or Jamie Patton, Outreach Specialist with Nutrient & Pest Management Program at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org