Soil Physical Quality of Brazilian Crop Management Systems Evaluated with Aid of Penetrometer

  •  Daniel Gomes Junior    
  •  Rubismar Stolf    
  •  José Peres    
  •  Victor Pinto    
  •  Klaus Reichardt    


Crop management affects soil attributes as well as its quality. We evaluated the following soil physical attributes: saturated hydraulic conductivity (K0), soil resistance (RP) and soil bulk density (BD), in Araras-SP, Brazil. Areas with sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), soybean (Glycine max), physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) and native forest presented an increase of soil compaction in the 0.10 m surface layer for the three attributes in a following order: native forest <physic nut < soybean < sugarcane. Significant regressions were obtained for RP × K0; BD × K0 and BD × RP. Penetrometer measurements were essential to indicate differences among areassugarcane, native forest, physic nut and soybean; but for the measurements of K0, only between sugarcane and native forest. RP measurements confirm anthropogenic changes in the soil profile up to the 0.3 m depth. In the “Canarache soil resistance classification” soils showed “low resistance” “without limitations to root development” for native forest and physic nut; “medium resistance” for soybean area with “some limitations to root development” and “high resistance” for sugarcane with “limitations to root development”. The use of penetrometers is discussed in relation to the readiness of field measurements.

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