Methods for evaluation the soil structure quality based on field evaluations are useful to determine strategies for soil management, with the advantage of requirement the use of little equipment and the possibility of immediate interpretation. A new methodology was recently developed to temperate soils for this purpose, called Visual Soil Structure Assessment (Ball et al., 2007). It was tested the hypothesis that it is possible to apply and advance in the interpretation of the results from use of Visual Soils Structure Assessment in cultivated Oxisols. Therefore the goal of this study was to apply, evaluate and enhance the potential of the methodology developed by Ball et al. (2007) in two Oxisols under long-term, no-till in Parana State, Brazil, as well as in a soil under native forest, used as reference of soil structural quality. The proposed implementation and progress in terms of structural quality for the distinct layers provided an assessment of soil physical quality more practical and detailed. This is useful to support the selection of appropriate techniques for mechanical and biological management systems in order to achieve the physical quality of soil suitable for crop development. Visual scores of soil structure quality proposed by Ball et al. (2007) can be applied to Brazilian Oxisols cultivated under no-tillage system.
soil physical quality; soil morphological analysis; soil conservation management