Soil strength response of select soil disturbance classes on a wet pine flat in South Carolina
Harvest operations conducted under conditions of high soil moisture on a et pine flat in South Carolina resulted in a high degree of soil surface disturbance. Less soil surface disturbance occurred when soil moisture content was lower. Soil strength varied by soil disturbance class in wet harvested locations and highly disturbed areas were associated with low soil strength and elevated levels of soil moisture. Soil strength levels in untrafficked locations were significantly higher than more disturbed classes including ruts greater than 0.20 mand puddled soils. The application of bedding to both wet and dry harvested locations lowered soil strength to less than 1.0 MPa in the upper 0.40 m. Mole plowing, in general, did not appear to have a significant impact on soil strength under the conditions of this study. However, soil strength of untrafficked areas increased when subjected to mole plowing. This may be the result of lowering soil moisture status and subsequently increasing soil strength in response to drier soil conditions. Further elaboration on the relationship among soil strength, disturbance conditions and machine trafficking is necessary to fully understand this complex interaction.