Visual Evaluation of Soil Structural and Sugarcane Root Under Deep Strip-till and Conventional Tillage

  •  Camila Cassante de Lima    
  •  Isabella Clerici De Maria    
  •  Wellingthon da Silva Guimarães Júnnyor    
  •  Laura Fernanda Simões da Silva    
  •  Raffaella Rossetto    


The Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) is a relatively simple methodology used for comparing management systems and for maintaining or recovering the quality of agricultural soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate the structural soil quality in the production of sugarcane using VESS. Three treatments were established: Deep Strip-till (DST), Conventional Tillage (CT) and Uncultivated area (UC). For DST and CT soil samples were taken from two locations: in-row and inter-row. Soil blocks were extracted from mini-trenches and carefully fragmented into aggregates, whose appearance, resistance, and characteristics of the structural units define quality scores. The density of visible roots was quantified by a grid-based counting method. DST at in-row location had improved the structural quality of the soil, providing greater root growth. Scores of visual soil quality in CT showed no difference between in-row and inter-row locations. Preserved from machinery traffic the in-row trail in CT did not result in benefit to soil quality. Variability in the scores among the replicate blocks for DST in-row suggests that the equipment had produced irregular soil tillage. VESS proved to be a good indicator from which it is feasible to evaluate impacts of agricultural machines and tillage implements on soil quality.

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