Image Number: 1402066

Fields with sandy topsoils may develop hard, compacted zones at or just beneath the plow layer. These compacted zones (often called plow-pans, tillage pans, or hardpans) develop when heavy implements are used on wet or recently plowed soil. The compacted layers become hard upon drying and may be detected by probing. Root growth is limited primarily to the upper topsoil and plants may wilt under slight moisture stress. Nutrient uptake, plant growth, and yields may be reduced. Use of implements such as subsoilers or chisel plows to break the compacted zone before transplanting may increase yields 5-20%, depending on the strength of pan development and adequacy of rainfall.
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Image location:
United States


Kingdom: Other damage agents
Phylum: Other damage agents
Class: Other damage agents
Order: Abiotic
Family: Other abiotic damage
Subject: soil compaction


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Nicotiana
Subject: Nicotiana tabacum (flue-cured type) L.
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Image uploaded:
Sunday, March 10, 2002
Image last updated:
Thursday, November 18, 2010