In modern agriculture, most of the field operations from sowing to harvesting are done mechanically by using heavy agriculture machines. However, the loads from these heavy machines may induce stresses exceeding soil strength causing soil compaction. Nowadays, soil compaction is considered as a serious form of soil degradation, which may have serious economics and environmental consequences in world agriculture because of its effects on soil structure, plant growth and environmental events. Vehicle load, inflation pressure, number of passes, stress on the soil, and soil properties (e.g. soil water content, soil texture, soil strength, soil bulk density) play an important role on soil compaction. This chapter reviews the works related to soil compaction in agricultural areas. Also, it discusses the nature and causes of soil compaction, the effects of the compaction on soil properties, environment and plant growth, and the possible solutions suggested in the literature.
Part of the book: Technology in Agriculture