Management zones determination based on physical properties of the soil

ABSTRACT The physical characteristics of the soil are defined through the interaction between its properties, and they, in turn, can indicate its physical quality. The study area is located in the Centro Agropecuário Marengo (Marengo Agricultural Center), with an extension of 94.5 ha, subdivided into 17 plots. The objective of this research was to study characteristics such as water storage capacity, structure, consistency, and soil compaction in the two surface horizons (H1 and H2), in order to define management zones through the soil index. Properties such as soil penetration resistance were an indicator of soil degradation, with values higher than 2 MPa in 13 plots. The total porosity exhibited medium or low values in the H1 and H2 horizons, with a predominance of micropores, which means that the presence of water could be lower than 14%. Four management zones were identified for each horizon, where the first zone represents the area where the soil is capable of retaining between 17% and 21% of the available water, with a bulk density of around 1 g cm-3 and organic carbon content close to 6%. By contrast, the fourth zone represents the sites where the soils are the finest, with contents above 45% clay, available water less than 11%, and a mean compaction of 4.39 MPa.