Spatial modeling of field traffic intensity

Agricultural soils are being trafficked frequently and intensively with successively rising weights of machinery. This increases the risk of soil compaction. But the real and spatial traffic intensities in the field, which means the number of wheel passes and the extent of wheel loads, are usually only estimated. However, these are essential to estimate the effects of the loads on the soil spatially and quantitativly. The present dissertation focuses on the investigation of the spatial traffic intensities on arable land by agricultural machines. The field traffic model (FiTraM) models the tire tracks and reconstructs the intensities of individual work processes based on the route. On a study field near Adenstedt in Lower Saxony, Germany, the operations of winter wheat, silage maize and sugar beet were recorded and modeled over a complete crop rotation of four years. For a study area near Ascheberg in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the harvesting of wheat on varying field geometries with three different combine harvester configurations was investigated. The results of the analyses quantify the intensities of the traffic spatially. In particular, the headland of the fields and the work processes for harvesting and sowing are the most intensively stressed. The number of wheel passes on the headland depends, i.a., on the geometry of the field. The more complex the field geometry and the larger the area in relation to the perimeter and the headland area, the larger the area with a high number of wheel passes. The wheel load and the completely passed area is mainly influenced by the size of the combine harvester. Results show the actual intensities caused by agricultural machinery in the field. These results show that there are strong spatial variations in the loads and that these should be taken into account in models for the analysis of soil compaction risk in order to be able to make specific recommendations for practical implementation.


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