Weed management is considered one of the activities that degrade the soil structure most in coffee crops, due to the soil compaction caused by weed control operations. The objective of this study was to determine the bearing capacity models for no weed control and to use this model to determine which weed management causes smaller or greater soil compaction. The study was conducted on a Red-Yellow Latosol (LVA), under coffee (variety Topazio MG 1190), on the Experimental Farm of EPAMIG in the community Farias, Lavras-MG (latitude 21°14'43" S, longitude 44°59'59" W). The following weed managements were assessed: a) in the traffic line of the inter-rows - disc harrow, post-emergence herbicide, pre-emergence herbicide, mower and brush and b) in the center of the inter-rows - peanut (Arachis pintoi), braquiaria (Brachiaria decumbens), hand weeding, sunhemp (Crotalaria juncea) and soybean (Glycine max L). The sampling consisted of two stages, one to determine the bearing capacity models for the treatment no weeding and another to assess the compaction caused by the other weed management. To determine the bearing capacity model for the treatment no weeding, 20 undisturbed soil samples from the layers 0-3, 10-13 and 25-28 cm were collected in the middle of the inter-rows, totaling 60 samples. These samples were subjected to the uniaxial compression test to obtain the preconsolidation pressure and the volumetric water content, which were used to determine the bearing capacity model. To determine the compaction caused by the other weed managements, based on mechanical control, 180 samples with undisturbed structure were collected in January 2010 from the traffic lines of the inter-rows, (5 weed management x 3 depths x 12 soil samples with undisturbed structure). For the weed managements using cover crops, in January 2010, 180 samples with undisturbed structure (5 weed management x 3 depths x 12 soil samples with undisturbed structure) were collected from the middle of the inter-rows These samples were submitted to the uniaxial compression test to determine preconsolidation pressure and the volumetric water content after applying the weed managements and were used in the criteria proposed by Dias Junior et al. (2005) to determine the compaction caused by these managements. By the bearing capacity models and the preconsolidation pressure determined after implementing the weed managements, the treatments disc harrow, mower and brush were detected for causing greatest soil compaction and braquiaria, sunhemp and soybean as causing least compaction in the three studied layers.
sustainability; preconsolidation pressure; modeling of the bearing capacity; Coffea arabica L