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Site adapted soil tillage

Lead Institute AT Institute of Agricultural Technology
Beteiligte Institute BD Biodiversity

Measurement of electric conductivity for future control of the cultivators working depth
© Thünen-Institut

Intensive soil tillage systems provide a low topsoil protection and lead to a strong soil loosening. This increases the danger of silting, soil erosion and soil compaction. The loosening depth effects the degree of soil cover, the infiltration through aeration and load bearing capacity of the soil.

Background and Objective

Comprehensive total area soil protection as well as the prevention of silting and soil erosion can be achieved with organic residues from previous and/or intermediate crops with non turning tillage with/without loosening. Organic residues of inter- and cover crops and conservation tillage techniques ensure a comprehensive and area wide soil cover. This can reduce the erosion starting process of silting. By the increasing activity of earth worms biogenic vertical pores with an increased infiltration capacity are produced. A conservative soil loosening improves the load bearing capacity of the soil and reduces the risk of soil compaction.

Target Group

Policymakers, extension services and agricultural practitioners


Comparing field trials under practice orientated conditions with sampling and examination in the laboratory: measuring the traverse straw distribution behind a harvester, rating of the degree of soil cover by organic residues, measuring the soil deformation as an indicator for the load bearing capacity of the soil, analysis of soil physical parameters.

Data and Methods

Data recording in the field: Recording technical machine data (drag force, fuel consumption, track depth) and their soil physical effects (track depth, soil compaction, water- and air balance , deduction of trafficability)

Our Research Questions

Energy consumption, area performance and working quality and the effect of agronomic parameters relevant for soil protection

Involved external Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 1.1993 - 12.2025

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