Field Performance of a Winged Scarifier as a Function of Soil Compaction and Water Content

Carmen Cholaky1*, José M. Cisneros1, and Roberto Balbuena2

Initial soil conditions, operational aspects, and tool shape affect the efficiency of soil decompaction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of a winged scarifier as a function of soil compaction and edaphic water content. The experiment was carried out in a typical Hapludoll. Treatments considered two soil compaction levels: high (HC) and low compaction (LC); and three soil water contents: wet (WS), humid (HS), and dry (DS) with 9, 14, and 19% gravimetric water content, respectively. A split-plot randomized block design was applied. Tractive effort, disturbed area, tillage depth, specific resistance, and power were evaluated. Results showed that tractive effort was 17% greater in HC than LC, and in both cases HS was greater than WS and DS. The specific resistance in HC was equal to 8, 9, and 11 N cm-2 in WS, HS, and DS, respectively, and 7, 8, and 7 N cm-2 in BC in similar soil water contents, respectively. Tillage depth was low and irregular only in HC-DS. Specific resistance was not an adequate indicator of overall work efficiency because it does not consider the final soil physical profile. Overall work efficiency in HC was greater under HS conditions, while in LC it was greater under HS and DS conditions.

Keywords: agricultural engineering, winged scarifier, bulk density, water content, compaction.
1Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria, Ruta Nacional 36, km 601, Río Cuarto (X5804BYA), Córdoba, Argentina. *Corresponding author (ccholaky@ayv.unrc.edu.ar).
2Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales, Av. 60 y 119, La Plata (1900), Argentina.