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SOILAssist kick-off meeting December 2018

The kick-off meeting for the second project phase of SOILAssist took place from 12/10/2018-12/12/2018 in Kiel.

On this occasion, we also visited our new test site "Hohenschulen" near Kiel.

Bachelor Thesis October 2018

Elsbe von der Lancken has successfully finished her bachelor thesis in the SOILAssist project.

"Effects of the technical development of sugar beet harvesters on soil-physical parameters"

Sugar beet harvest October 2018

The sugar beet harvest with the Grimme Rexor 630 took place on 10/25/2018. This year, the focus of our investigations was on the use of tire measuring boxes. It is not sufficient to know the static wheel load (determined with mobile scales) of the machine in order to be able to assess the influence of the machine on the tire/soil interface. During a field crossing, the wheel load varies considerably, depending on slip and slope inclination, for example.

The tire measuring boxes were integrated in all six rims of the beet harvester. With the ultrasonic sensors installed into the rims, the tire deflection during the sugar beet harvest could be continuously recorded. By intersecting the values from the measuring boxes with the GPS signal from the RTK-GPS on the machine, the dynamic wheel load during the harvest can be determined precisely on the field.

Start 2nd project phase October 2018

After successful evaluation SOILAssist starts into the second project phase.

We are looking forward to another three years of exciting research!

SOILAssist at the ISTRO 2018 in Paris

SOILAssist was represented at the 21st ISTRO conference (09/24/2018-09/27/2018) in Paris.

Contributions: M. Lorenz, K. Augustin, K. Nolting and J. Brunotte: Dynamic Changes of Wheel Load and Mean Contact Area Pressure during Sugar Beet Harvest and Soil Tillage, Proceedings of the 21th ISTRO International Conference, 24-27 September, Paris, France, pp. 201-202.

I. Martínez, M. Stettler, M. Lorenz, J. Brunotte, P. Weisskopf and T. Keller: Changes in Subsoil Pore System and Anisotropy Caused by Agricultural Machinary Traffic, Proceedings of the 21th ISTRO International Conference, 24-27 September, Paris, France, pp. 12-13.

Silage corn harvest September 2018

Weather and soil conditions remained dry during silage corn harvest on 09/11/2018. From July to September we only had 112 mm of precipitation on our study site fields. The soil condition was accordingly very solid and therefore load-bearing. Due to the extreme dryness, soil sampling was not possible, as the soil sampling rings could not be driven into the soil. The measurement of soil pressure and deformation was only possible at a depth of 20 cm. In the run-up, we carried out a hand harvest of silage corn.

For the first time, our newly developed tire measuring boxes were used during the entire harvest campaign.

Latest publication august 2018

M. Kuhwald, K. Dörnhöfer, N. Oppelt, and R. Duttmann

Spatially Explicit Soil Compaction Risk Assessment of Arable Soils at Regional Scale: The SaSCiA-Model

Sustainability2018, 10(5), 1618

Latest publication august 2018

S. Ledermüller, M. Lorenz, J. Brunotte, and N. Fröba

A Multi-Data Approach for Spatial Risk Assessment of Topsoil Compaction on Arable Sites

Sustainability2018, 10(8), 2915

High rainfall in harvest months in 2017 and a long period of drought in 2018 affect wheat yield

The combination of high rainfall in autumn 2017 and the resulting unfavorable soil conditions while silage corn and sugar beet harvest campaigns as well as the long period of drought in many regions in spring/summer 2018 caused a strong impairment of root growth in cereals. This has led to a considerable decline in yields.

A total precipitation of 173 mm on our study site in Adenstedt (Lower Saxony, Germany) in the main harvest months of September and October 2017 left a fast-closing window for a soil conserving field traffic during silage corn and sugar beet harvest campaign. In addition, when cultivating the succeeding crop, usually wheat, an unfavorable soil structure prevailed partially. In July and August 2017, a total of 334 mm of precipitation fell at our study site, which resulted in very wet soil conditions before harvest. The average for July and August is expected to be 160 mm. From July to October, the rainfall was 507 mm, which makes up more than 60% of the annual precipitation at our study site. On average, the amount of rainfall for this period is 294 mm. The result was very wet soil and thus vulnerable to compaction during the main harvest period.

Especially high wheel loads in combination with an increased number of wheel crossings can lead to negative effects on soil structure and the various soil functions under wet soil conditions. The harvest chain of silage corn has wheel loads of 7-8 t in combination with up to 8 repetitions of wheel crossings. Sugar beet harvesters with crab steering function can reduce the number of wheel crossings to 1 on a large part of the field. As a bunker machine, however, wheel loads of 10-12 t are attained.

Furthermore, the very dry spring and summer had a considerable influence on the wheat yields, which partly reached only 60-70 % of the typical yield. In the period from May to July 2018, only 100 mm precipitation was recorded at our test site. This is only 46 % of the average precipitation (217 mm) for this period.

Against this background, SOILAssist scientists have investigated case studies in the region of Ambergau (Hildesheim) in which maize or sugar beet harvesting and winter wheat cultivation took place spatially close to each other under favorable or unfavorable conditions. For this purpose, the wheat was harvested by hand in several random samples (1 m2 each) per variant and then the large-area harvest was carried out with the combine harvester.

The harvest results in combination with the respective cultivation data will show the effects of mechanical loads at different sensitive soil conditions on plant development and economic excellence of different process chains. Based on this, conclusions and recommendations for a future optimization or excellence of different management options depending on the prevailing weather conditions and processes will be derived.


Workshop soil conserving field traffic

From 19th to 20th of June 2018 a joint workshop of SOILAssist and Grimme took place in Damme. The topic was ‘soil conserving field traffic’ during the sugar beet and potato harvest.

In addition to the technical lectures, a field demonstration of the soil pressure and soil deformation measuring device was demonstrated to the approx. 35 participants using a potato harvester. Furthermore, Joachim Brunotte demonstrated the ‘simple soil structure assessment for the farmer’ by means of a small profile pit.

To illustrate the topic, 'information materials on soil', such as various soil profile banners and a walk-on soil map of Lower Saxony, were made available by the LBEG in Hanover.

By including soil protection aspects as well as the requirements and possibilities of agricultural technology, future strategies for a soil conserving field traffic were debated and discussed.

We would like to thank all participants for the active exchange!

SOILAssist workshop 'field trials' may 2018

The project partners Thünen Institute for Agricultural Technology and CAU Kiel met in Kiel from 17th to 18th of May 2018 for a workshop on 'field trials'. We discussed the results of the field trials from 2016 and 2017 and the planned upcoming field trials for the harvest season 2018.

SOILAssist at the EGU April 2018

SOILAssist was represented at this year's conference of the European Geoscience Union (EGU) 2018 in Vienna.

Contribution: Liquid manure application in spring - are soil conserving measures available? (M. Siekmann, M. Lorenz, K. Nolting, B. Ortmeier and J. Brunotte)

SOILAssist workshop 'modeling and assistance system' march 2018

From 27th to 28th of March 2018 SOILAssist met for a workshop 'modeling and on-board assistance system' at the DFKI in Osnabrück. We discussed the status of our modeling concepts and their integration into the on-board assistance system and pushed ahead with the planning of further work.

SOILAssist at the BonaRes conference february 2018

SOILAssist was represented with 7 presentations and 7 poster presentations at the BonaRes Conference 2018 in Berlin. Under the following link 'Soil in the focus of researchers' you will find an interesting article about the conference and the contribution of SOILAssist.

SOILAssist project meeting february 2018

Our SOILAssist project meeting took place on the 14th to 15th of February 2018 in the Lüneburger Heide in Hermannsburg. We exchanged information about the status of our work as well as previous results and discussed the upcoming work until the end of the 1st project phase and the future work in the 2nd project phase was defined and planned.

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