One of the ongoing goals of the work of the Penwith Landscape Partnership is the improvement of soil health, and at this time of year our thoughts turn to the alleviation of soil compaction. ‘Soil Compaction results in the compression of [soil] pores that would otherwise transport water and air. This impedes root growth and the ingress of oxygen into the soil.' (Vadastad, no date)
Compaction can occur through the effects of livestock grazing or mechanical cultivation. The resulting soil compaction can lead to restricted crop plant growth and waterlogged soils. This in turn can lead to a reduction in yield and profitability.
The diagram below shows the effects of compaction on a growing crop in image one, whereas images two and three show how this is alleviated with an aerator:
For a more in-depth consideration of the subject, I would recommend that you read the article from the ADHB entitled ‘Correcting Soil Compaction’ first published back in 2019, by clicking here.
Last spring the Penwith Landscape Partnership purchased an Alstrong Aerator available for use by farmers within the project area.
Diagram on the affect of using an Alstrong Aerator:
Diagrams used with the permission of Alstrong, visit http://www.alstrong.ie/
Vaderstad (no date) Soil Compaction [online] Available at: https://www.vaderstad.com/uk/know-how/basic-agronomy/soil-analysis-and-protection/soil-compaction/ [Accessed on 29 January 2021]