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Checking for Soil Compaction is Crucial for Crop Growth

Did you know that soil compaction significantly impedes the ability of plants to thrive?  A study completed by the UMN Extension on soil management and health found that soil compaction can negatively influence crop yield by up to 60%. Compacted soil severely limits the movement of air and water, depriving plants of essential nutrients necessary for their emergence and growth. However, identifying compacted or potentially compacted areas isn’t always obvious from surface observations. With this knowledge, as one of the leading manufacturers for innovative tools in the agriculture sector, we developed a soil compaction meter to identify soil compaction quickly and easily.

The SpotOn® Digital Soil Compaction Meter is indispensable for anyone relying on soil quality for robust plant growth. It’s not just a tool; it’s a cornerstone of efficient crop operations. Whether you’re a farmer, agronomist, or turf manager, having a soil compaction meter readily available is essential for ensuring healthy crop production. When put to use, the meter’s electronic load cell design allows all types of soil to be accurately measured while meeting the ASABE S313.3 Soil Compaction Standard. Peak compaction value is automatically displayed on the large digital display when the probe is extracted from the soil. In addition to providing readings in PSI or kPa, the meter also shows compaction severity with a green/yellow/red color code for quick reference.

Start Selling The SpotOn® Digital Soil Compaction Meter

What is soil compaction?

Soil is comprised of solid particles and voids. These voids, both large and small, play critical roles in plant growth by hosting air (large voids) and water (small voids). Plants rely on a balanced combination of both elements for healthy root development; any imbalance can cause them to die. When soil becomes compacted, the larger voids are either compressed or eliminated altogether. These larger voids serve crucial functions such as water infiltration, drainage, and facilitating the movement of nutrients within the soil.

Interestingly, the extent of compaction depends on soil moisture levels. In very dry conditions, the soil is firm enough to resist compression of these larger voids. Conversely, in saturated conditions, these voids fill with water, preventing compression. However, the real danger arises when the soil is adequately moistened, yet there’s still air present in these larger voids. This is precisely when heavy equipment can compact these vital spaces. Compounding the challenge, moisture levels fluctuate throughout the soil profile, meaning surface conditions may not always indicate the risks of soil compaction, making a soil compaction meter crucial for anyone seeking healthy crop production.

Why is a soil compaction meter needed?

A soil compaction meter is crucial for several reasons:

  • Early Detection: It helps in identifying compacted or at-risk areas before visible signs appear. Compaction can occur without obvious surface indications, so a meter provides an early warning system.
  • Precision Management: By accurately measuring soil compaction levels, farmers, agronomists, and turf managers can precisely target areas that require remediation or preventive measures. This precision saves time, resources, and ensures optimal soil conditions for plant growth.
  • Optimizing Soil Health: Soil compaction negatively impacts soil health, limiting root growth, nutrient uptake, and water infiltration. By monitoring compaction levels, users can take timely action to maintain or improve soil health, leading to healthier plants and higher yields.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Addressing soil compaction issues proactively is more cost-effective than dealing with the consequences later, such as reduced crop yields or the need for extensive soil restoration efforts.

SpotOn® Digital Soil Compaction Meter Features

  • Automatic readings: Automatically displays maximum compaction value when the probe is extracted from the soil
  • Color-coded display for easy compaction reference: Green 0-200 PSI (0-1400 kPa), Yellow 200-300 PSI (1400-2070 kPa), Red 300+ PSI (2070+ kPa)
  • Stainless Steel Shaft: Durable shaft with depth marking every 4in (10cm)
  • Ultra-hard tool steel cone: For years of service
  • Meets ASABE S313.3 Soil Compaction Standard
  • Multiple Units: Measurements can be displayed in PSI or kPa
  • Rugged design: For repeated field use, includes a rubber protector for the tip

Start Selling The SpotOn® Digital Soil Compaction Meter

Learn more about the SpotOn® Digital Soil Compaction Meter here, or watch the video below:


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