Seedling Emergence Simulation Using Mechanical Probes 921618
Understanding the Relationships between plants and soil is important in the development of methods of crop production. Although physical properties of soil conducive to plant growth can be recognized by experienced observers, many of these properties have not been defined satisfactorily in mathematical or physical terms.
A method of measuring penetration resistance and energy exerted by a mechanical seedling (a steel probe simulating a seedling) as it moved upward through the soil surface under different levels of surface compaction and soil moisture was examined. Mechanical seedlings with 2.06, 3.19 and 4.65 mm tip diameters were tested at soil moisture levels of 13, 17, and 20%. The penetration rate of the mechanical seedling while moving through the soil was held constant at 10 mm/min. Results showed that the emergence energy increased directly with soil surface compaction pressure, initial soil moisture content, and mechanical seedling diameters.