Vertical Movement of Soil

In preparing the seedbed for planting using tillage, the soil is disturbed and mixed vertically (in place) to loosen the soil and break up large clumps in order to optimize soil to seed contact. This disturbance affects the porosity and structure of the soil and, therefore, affects processes such as the movement of air, water, and heat (drying and warming), and root penetration and growth. During tillage, some soil can be thrown upward more than twice the depth of tillage. Immediately after tillage, the depth of the disturbed soil is normally 20-30% greater than its depth before tillage. Although the loosening that tillage causes can persist for weeks to months, eventually the soil recon solidates (Figure 1 ). In general, the intent of tillage during seedbed preparation is to cause the vertical movement of soil, not horizontal; however, soil is moved both vertically and horizontally by all forms of tillage.

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