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soil conserving field traffic

Lead Institute AT Institute of Agricultural Technology
Involved Institutes BD Institute of Biodiversity

soil conserving chassis during the harvest of sugar beet
© Thünen-Institut

Good Practice in agricultural land use (§ 17 of the Federal Soil Protection Act)

Implementing Good Practice of traffiking on fields

The Federal Soil Protection Act § 17 rules that soil compaction, especially in due consideration of soil type, soil moisture and soil pressure, caused by devices used for agronomic purpose, should be avoided to the greatest possible extent. There are three measures for prevention: besides crop agronomic measures and working systems the technical feasibilities of the choice and setting of the chassis should be used.

Background and Objective

Due to texture, soil moisture and utilization, soils have a different load bearing capacity and a different susceptibility to soil compaction. To reduce the ground pressure according to § 17, vehicle parameters, such as wheel load, contact area pressure, tire inflation pressure and number of paasages of the machines used should be adapted to the actual soil compaction sensitivity. That means for example for sugarbeet harvest, the total champagne area and the bunker load of the holding tank should not always be working to their limits.

Target Group

Policymakers, extension services, agricultural industry and agricultural practitioners


Status quo surveys and permanent soil observation plots (BDF) (by government bodies over long periods of time), give information about the severity and dissemination of actual soil compaction. Systematic mechanical load tests under a single wheel measuring device supplemented in the laboratory by in situ measurements under large agricultural machines on agricultural fields give more information about the interaction machine / soil.

Data and Methods

soil physical measurements (pore size distribution, air and waterpermeability , soil resistance, root growth and yield performance

Our Research Questions

description of susceptibility to compaction of soils; Effect of mechanical load caused by machinery on soil structure

Preliminary Results

locally adapted use of technology

Links and Downloads

AID brochure no. 3614

AID brochure no. 1585

Involved external Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 1.2001 - 12.2025

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