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Farmers are becoming more aware of the yield-boosting potential of using real time kinematic (RTK) navigation systems to guide implements over the same tracks year after year.
Reduced erosion is tied to improvements in soil structure that controlled traffic can bring. Less-compacted soils tend to be more permeable and thus able to absorb more rainfall before runoff begins.
A study on Mitchell’s farm conducted by an Iowa State University student showed that compaction in the track was similar to general compaction in traditionally farmed fields. Compaction fell off significantly away from traffic lanes.
“The difference is dramatic,” Reeder says. “We have measured high compaction in the track and good soil conditions away from the track.”