Pedosphere 20(2): 252--260, 2010
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2010 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Assessment of vulnerability of Oxisols to compaction in the Cerrado region of Brazil
1 Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State (Nigeria)
2 Departamento de Ci encia do Solo, Universidade Federal de Lavras, CEP 37200-000, Lavras (Brazil)
3 Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State (Nigeria)
4 Fundacao de Ensino Superior de Passos, Universidade do Estado do Minas Gerais (Brazil)
      The Cerrado region of Brazil, one of the fastest-growing agricultural areas in the world, is undergoing very rapid mechanization;this development is good for the country's economy but may also snowball into substantial loss of agricultural land and other environmental degradation if the soil susceptibility and vulnerability to compaction is not well understood. In this study we explored different techniques for estimating soil intrinsic abilities to withstand applied pressure using the prevalent Oxisols of the Cerrado region under native vegetation. Undisturbed samples were collected from three sites within the region and subjected to 1) compressibility test;2) manual penetration resistance test;3) automated penetration resistance test;and 4) packing density analysis. The four methods produced analogous results. Our results showed the significant influence of soil structure on the inherent strength and compaction susceptibility of the soils. We also established the association of soil structure with the mineralogy of the soil. It is noteworthy that the packing density which was developed from very simple and easily obtained parameters could give a picture of the tendency of the soil to compact. Thus, this approach would be useful in developing compaction susceptibility maps for the region. It could be concluded that most of the Oxisols in the Cerrado region would support mechanized agricultural production very successfully. However, there is need for careful management of the mechanization process to avert degradation. The management techniques should include conservationist practices such as no till in order to maintain as much as possible the favorable structure and drainage of these very old soils.
Key Words:  compressibility, packing density, penetration resistance, soil structure
Citation: Ajayi, A. E., Dias, J., Curi, N., Okunola, A., Teixeira, S. and Silva, P. 2010. Assessment of vulnerability of Oxisols to compaction in the Cerrado region of Brazil. Pedosphere. 20(2): 252-260.
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