A typical healthy soil consists of approximately 50% soil particles (sand, silt, clay) with the remaining 50% taken up with air and water.
Compaction limits the soil's ability to store, and restricts the movement of, air and water. This results in poor seedling vigour, poor plant growth and, ultimately, reduced yields.
There are many causes for soil compaction - some natural, some caused by cultural practices. We will focus on vehicle-induced compaction.
Vehicle induced compaction can be divided into two types – shallow and deep.
Shallow Compaction is defined as compaction within the normal tillage zone (5" to 10") and is related to pressure applied to the surface of the soil. Higher ground pressures cause increased shallow compaction. It should be noted that ground pressure is approximately equal to tire inflation pressure.
Operators can minimize shallow compaction by using low-pressure flotation-type tires with a large footprint. Hydra-Spread offers low-pressure flotation-type tires for all models.
Deep Compaction is defined as compaction that occurs below the normal tillage zone and is generally related to total axle load. Deep compaction is not mitigated by tire size or inflation pressure unless ground pressure (tire inflation pressure) is reduced to 12 psi or lower. Deep compaction can be reduced or avoided by sharing the total load across more than one axle.
Soil compaction is a complex subject. There are many excellent websites. (Just search for "soil compaction")
Please contact Hagedorn for detailed information about how to minimize soil compaction and make your Hagedorn spreader easier to tow by using low-pressure flotation-type tires.