Evaluation of furrow openers and packers for conservation tillage
Based on a series of exploratory field studies in 1993 at the Swift Current research station two additional field studies were conducted in 1994 to establish test protocols for the investigation and evaluation of seed furrows formed by direct seeding operations. Measurements of seed furrow physical properties such as soil temperature, soil bulk density, soil moisture, and penetration resistance were repeated. Changes to sampling procedures included a modified soil moisture probe and wave guide connector along with an increased number of soil moisture measurement sites and additional measurements from below the seed furrow. Manual sampling of soil from within the furrow boundaries for soil aggregate determination replaced mechanical core sampling. Furrow profile measurements were carried out on unpacked and packed seed furrows to evaluate the accuracy of lower furrow boundary excavation techniques. To improve the accuracy of correlations between seed furrow characteristics, speed of emergence, plant counts, and above ground biomass row sample lengths were increased from 0.5 to 1.0 meter. This paper discusses the ability of the protocol to quantify significant differences in seed furrow characteristics created by 16 opener and packer combinations and their correlation to crop growth.
opener and packers
time domain reflectometry
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