How Soil Compaction can be Identified and Managed

The following features may indicate a compacted soil
layer:

• platy, blocky, dense, or massive appearance;
• significant resistance to penetration with a metal rod;
• high bulk density; and
• restricted, flattened, turned, horizontal, or stubby plant
roots.

Because some soils that are not compacted exhibit these features, refer to a soil survey report for information about the inherent characteristics of the soil. Each soil texture has a minimum bulk density (weight of soil divided by its volume) at which root-restricting conditions may occur, although the restriction also depends on the plant species.

Management strategies that minimize
compaction:

• Minimize grazing, recreational use, and vehicular traffic
when the soils are wet.
• Use only designated trails or roads; reduce the number of
trips.
• Do not harvest hay when the soils are wet.
• Maintain or increase the content of organic matter in the
soil by improving the plant cover and plant production.


Please put these tactics into action. Include the minimization of soil erosion in your daily lives.

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