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Aggregate Tensile Strength and Friability Characteristics of Furrow and Sprinkler Irrigated Fields in Southern Idaho

Anita C. Koehn, Gary A. Lehrsch, Warren J. Busscher, Dean E. Evans, Bradley A. King, Daniel L. Stieneke, Robert E. Sojka
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2014 v.45 no.20 pp. 2712-2720
aggregate stability, drying, furrow irrigation, furrows, growing season, irrigated soils, soil aggregates, soil profiles, sprinkler irrigation, tensile strength, Idaho
Agricultural crops grown in southern Idaho are furrow or sprinkler irrigated. Therefore, the soil experiences several wetting and drying cycles each growing season that can contribute to changes in aggregate tensile strength and friability. The objective of the research was to evaluate the influence of irrigation on soil structural properties. Four furrow-irrigated fields were sampled at the top and bottom of the field, in the furrow and on the bed location of the furrow. Five sprinkler-irrigated fields were sampled at depths of 0–5 and 5–15 cm and at the top and bottom of the field. Results from this study indicate that differences in tensile strength in furrow-irrigated fields were only evident soon after irrigation; otherwise, there were few differences in tensile strength and friability. In sprinkler-irrigated fields tensile strength increased with depth in three of the five fields measured. Friability was less affected by depth.