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As any farmer knows, one of the challenges to proper agricultural growth that’s seen an uptick over the last decade is soil compaction. Between increased rainfall and ever larger farming equipment, soil in areas that used to see proper structure for adequate growth is increasingly susceptible to compaction. Soil structure can be a deal breaker when it comes to the proper distribution of water, nutrients and air in the quantities necessary for a successful harvest down the line.
Coming to Terms with the Issue
To learn how to deal with soil compaction, it’s important to understand what it is and why it happens. Normally, almost 50% of soil is made up of pore spaces that allow water, air and nutrients to circulate; but when those gaps begin to diminish, water and air can’t infiltrate or move through soils. Simply put, compaction occurs when soil particles are compressed together, minimizing pore space. Therefore, instead of nutrient-rich soil, it is instead dry and easily eroded, not to mention unsuited for plant growth.
Further, these difficulties go beyond a simple lack of nutrients. In compacted soil, plants have trouble emerging from the ground, and those that make it through are typically stunted. Their roots also have trouble expanding and exploring in the soil, which can further thwart the plant's ability to access the water and nutrients needed.
Bigger Equipment Means Bigger Problems
One of the major causes of soil compaction can be attributed to massive equipment driven over soil that has become too saturated with rainwater. While it is certainly ideal to wait until the soil quality is perfect, sometimes higher rates of rainfall in a season may make this difficult, if not impossible. In these instances, farmers can reduce chances of compaction simply by ensuring that their tires are inflated at the proper levels, the loads on their axles are reduced, and the right size tires are being used.
When in the fields, for example, wider tires at lower pressures are the key. “Not only do wide, large volume tires provide better traction in the field, they also distribute the weight of heavy loads across a greater surface area,” said Dan Hayden, Bauer Built Tire and Service Commercial Sales Director. And in the era of smart technology, companies like Michelin are advancing products designed specifically for the ag industry to help minimize impact to soil, including their ZEN@TERRA solution. Designed at the request of farmers and contractors wanting to improve efficiency while protecting their most precious asset--soil, the ZEN@TERRA system is a 2-in-1 tire combined with a central tire inflation system that can be adjusted to the higher pressures needed for paved use and to the lower pressures that help to reduce soil compaction in the field; meaning, farmers can go from field to road without stopping.
A Partner You Can Trust
When looking for the perfect tire to reduce soil compaction, turn to the pros at Bauer Built. With roots spanning back to 1944, Bauer Built is a leading provider of commercial, fleet, retread and retail tires, and mounted wheel, wheel reconditioning and mechanical services. Boasting more than 500 highly trained employees across seven Midwestern states, Bauer Built has built a reputation as the partner to trust in providing quality services and products that get the job done, keeping drivers moving on the road and farmers reaping in the field.
To learn more, visit https://www.bauerbuilt.com/ today!