AGRAR CONSULTING TATZBER

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY

 

 

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AGRONOMIC

COMPACTIONS

The main problem of Ukrainian agriculture are degradations due to compactions of arrable land.

As can be seen from the table around 77% of agricultural land has compactions which leads to losses of between 15 and 25%.

CTIF Europe, a European research institute, has found that compaction leads to a loss of yield of 15 to 25% - an annual loss of yield of around 450,000 UAH per 100 hectares.

These compaction horizons usually begins at a depth of 25 to 27 cm and have a thickness of 10 to 14 cm.

Compaction horizons mean that precipitation water (rain, snow) does not seep into deeper soil layers and cannot be stored as a result.

In dry periods moisture from deeper soil layers cannot rise because the capillary is interrupted due to the compactions.

These existing compactions are several decades old and are called "plough pan compactions".

They were created by the fact that for more than 50 years the tractor wheels have always been on the same horizon (usually between 25 and 30 cm) while ploughing and have compacted the soil.

The compaction horizons are very dense and cannot be "grown" by the plant roots.

As a result the root space is also severely restricted and the plants cannot absorb sufficient nutrients and moisture.
 

SOIL STRUCTUR AND SOIL BIOTA

Another problem is the lack of soil structure.

Soil compactions, incorrect soil cultivation and often incomprehensible fertilisation measures have reduced the humus content  by half in the last 50 years.

Many farms don't consider to build a healthy soil structure and active soil biota.

In the one hand the arable land have compactions which are still not being observed.

On the other hand many companies do not respect the principles of soil cultivation.

The soil biota which are responsible for rotting of residues are located in the upper 10 to 15 cm of the arable land.

Residues are often buried instead of mixed into the upper layers.

Therefore it is the task of tillage to mix the crop residues precisely into this horizon where soil biota finds ideal conditions for rotting.

An active and healthy soil biota converts the nutrients stored in residues into those forms that can be absorbed by the roots.

Soil biota cause the soil to be loosened and the storage capacity for moisture and nutrients can be improved.

This can save significant fertiliser costs with good soil structures and a healthy soil biota.