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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


GUIMARAES, Rachel Muylaert Locks et al. Tensile strength, friability and organic carbon in an oxisol under a crop-livestock system. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2009, vol.66, n.4, pp.499-505. ISSN 1678-992X.

The crop-livestock system can promote soil compaction in surface layers, mainly due to animal trampling. However, plants and their root growth, in interaction with animal trampling, can decrease the deleterious changes in soil structure caused by this system. Up to the present time, the physical soil modifications in crop-livestock systems, including oat and ryegrass crops for winter animal forages are unknown. The objective of this study was to quantify and to relate tensile strength, friability and soil organic carbon in an Oxisol under a crop-livestock system. The study was conducted in Campo Mourão - Paraná, Brazil. Four forage heights were used for the winter forages: 7, 14, 21 and 28 cm. For each forage height, five soil blocks were randomly collected from each layer of 0 - 0.1, 0.1 - 0.2 and 0.2 - 0.3 m of depth. The increase in carbon content promotes an increase in soil tensile strength at the 0.1 - 0.2 m soil depth, this layer having the highest values for tensile strength. The forage height of 21 cm was found to be the best height for soil friability, and the soil was very friable at this height. Despite a decrease in friability in the upper layers of the soil, the crop-livestock system was not found to be a limiting factor for the subsequent cultivation of annual crops.

Keywords : aggregate; soil structure; no-tillage; soil physical quality; microstructure.

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