Paddock Appearance

Traffic Damage
Livestock and heavy machinery, such as harvesters or trucks conveying produce or fertiliser, compact the soil especially in wet conditions. Confining traffic to certain areascan reduce damage and make remediation easier.
Photograph of paddock with vehicle tracks through it.

Infiltration Rates
Krasnozem soils in good physical condition have high infiltration rates. Heavy traffic, particularly in wet conditions, can compact the soil surface and reduce porosity and infiltration. Water laying on the soil surface excludes air from the soil below allowing growth of anaerobic bacteria which produce a characteristic sulfurous smell - like your local rubbish tip.
Photograph showing waterlogged traffic tracks throughout a paddock.

Localised compaction restricts root growth and lowers water holding capacity resulting in
variation in crop yield and quality across the paddock. Variable response to applied fertilisers
can also occur.
Photograph showing patchy plant growth due to localised compaction.

Low water infiltration to increase runoff and erosion, This is often observed after harvest operations and in fine unprotected seedbeds.

Photograph showing a paddock with low water infiltration - large pools of water evident.

Poor crop germination resulting from
compaction and poor aeration allows weeds to become established and then smother crops.

Photograph showing crops being smothered by weeds.

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