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Physical soil quality in the transshipment operation in mechanized sugarcane harvesting

Grant number: 21/09077-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2022 - February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agricultural Engineering - Soil and Water Engineering
Principal Investigator:Zigomar Menezes de Souza
Grantee:Zigomar Menezes de Souza
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Agrícola (FEAGRI). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Cássio Antonio Tormena ; Milton César Costa Campos ; Newton La Scala Júnior


The intense traffic of machines in the sugarcane production system in Brazil has increased the levels of soil compaction, resulting in the alteration of the soil physical and mechanical attributes and the consequent reduction in its productive capacity. Within this context, the transport of sugarcane in the field was identified as the mechanized operation with the greatest impact on soil compaction. The objective of this research is to evaluate the impacts of different sugarcane transshipment systems in the harvesting operation on the soil quality and soil physical attributes, and their effects on the root system and crop yield. The study will be carried out under field conditions in a latossolo vermelho distrófico típico in the municipality of Frutal, state of Minas Gerais, in the first two cycles of ratoon sugarcane (2021/2022 and 2022/2023 crop years). The experiment was established in 2019 with a randomized block design, with three replications and four treatments defined by the following sets of machines: tractor of 134 kW + sugarcane trailer of 21 Mg; tractor of 134 kW + two sugarcane trailers of 10 Mg; tractor of 172 kW + sugarcane trailer of 30 Mg; truck with trailer of 21 Mg. Soil physical indicators of changes imposed by transshipment systems will be quantified through soil bulk density, soil penetration resistance, soil porosity distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity, air permeability, preconsolidation pressure and micromorphological changes in the pore space. The effects of soil compaction on the sugarcane root system (root density and root area) and on crop yield will also be evaluated. With the completion of this project, it will be possible to understand which transshipment systems allow to minimize soil compaction and the maintenance of its physical functionality, whose effects reflect on the crop's yield. (AU)

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