Institute of

Agricultural Technology

Environmental Technology Soil/Plant

Heavy harvest and transport machinery can damage the soil structure in the case of high soil moisture. In our concepts for “good professional practice,” we have concretized recommendations for action derived from field and laboratory experiments and thus for preventative soil protection.

Sugar beet harvester travels over the measurement plot to calculate soil physical parameters
Sugar beet harvester travels over the measurement plot to calculate soil physical parameters (© Thünen-Institut)

The instruments we have developed, such as estimating soil cover by organic residues or analyzing the soil structure in depth, help the practitioner assess the mechanical stress of agricultural machinery. In our research, we use sensors that detect critical, damp soil conditions and help to adapt vehicle parameters to the compaction sensitivity of the soil. Sensor systems should help to detect the drought stress of the plants at an early stage. Optimizing the use of resources while at the same time preserving the environment and increasing product quality are at the forefront of optimizing agricultural processes and chains. Novel sensors and non-contact measuring methods help to practice precision farming in the field of soil cultivation, crop management and harvesting. Our medium term goal is the development of management systems that allow a more sustainable use of resources (machinery, energy, water).

Our work is concentrated in the following areas: