Traffic Effect on an Clover-Grass Sward E12
Norwegian Centre for Ecological Agriculture, N-6690 Aure
|Heavy and intense traffic on ley in combination
with high precipitation reduces yields and gives weeds a chance to establish. The problem
is obvious in the western and northern parts of Norway and especially in organic
agriculture. Most of the knowledge in this field so far obtained comes from small plot
experiments where particular problems have been studied. Here, an attempt to approach the
problem more holistically will bepresented. The objectives are to find out if smaller
machines with less number of wheelings (lw) are favourable when manuring and harvesting
grassland under wet conditions.
In 1994-96 field trials on an ecological experimental farm in Norway are performed with two different mechanization systems. The conventional mechanization is a tractor equipped with low pressure tyres and driving a forage harvester (112 cm wide) and a grass trailer (6000 kg total). The lw-mechanization system consists of a two-wheel tractor with a mower (375 kg) which makes a double swath in every 3.5 metres and a tractor with a self loading trailer which picks the swath up (4500 kg total). The fieldwork is carried out as normal farm practice and comparisons are made regarding yield, botanical composition, damage to plants, soil physical conditions, fuel consumption and capacity. The results from the field trials are being analysed by multivariate analysis and will be presented on the conference.
The results from the field trials so far show that conventional machines have the largest influence on soil compaction. It is shown by increased penetrometer resistance, reduced infiltration rate and reduced volume of air filled pores. Regarding yield and botanical composition there are no clear tendencies. Capacity and fuel consumption will be measured in fullscale during 1996. Since the field trials are not yet finished, it is to early to draw any general conclusions.
Hansen, S. (1996): Effects of manure treatment and soil compaction on plant production of a dairy farm system converting to organic farming practice. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment, Elsevier. In press.