Compacted soil will restrict root growth and penetration into subsoil. This situation can lead to stunted, drought stressed plants as a result of restricted water and nutrient uptake, which results in reduced crop yields.
In wetter than normal years, soil compaction can decrease soil aeration and lead to the increased loss of nitrate nitrogen by denitrification, which is the conversion of plant available nitrate-nitrogen into gaseous nitrogen forms that are lost to the atmosphere. This process occurs when soils are in an anaerobic condition and soil pores are mostly filled with water. Reduced soil aeration can affect root growth and function, and lead to increased risk of crop disease. All these factors result in increased crop stress and yield loss
Spreading and tilling in alfalfa pellets can have a number of positive effects on soil quality and crop production including the following: • causes soil pore spaces to become larger • improves water infiltration rate into soil • increases the rate that water will penetrate into the soil root zone and subsoil • reduces the potential for surface water ponding, water runoff, surface soil waterlogging and soil erosion • increases the ability of a soil to hold water and air, which are necessary for plant root growth and function • improves poor crop emergence as a result of soil crusting • assists root growth and increases the volume of soil explored by roots • improves soil exploration by roots and increases the ability of crops to take up nutrients and water efficiently from soil • improves crop yield potential
Loosen compacted soil with tiller or disc harrow. Spread between .25 and 1kg per square meter (2500 and 10,000 kg per hectare) depending on the condition of the soil to be treated over the loosened soil. Pellets will not blow away and will soften and begin to dissolve into the soil with even a small amount of rain.
Phytoremediation and Bioremediation
Phytostimulation (or rhizodegradation) is the enhancement of soil microbial activity for the degradation of organic contaminants, typically by organisms that associate with roots. This process occurs within the rhizosphere, which is the layer of soil that surrounds the roots. Plants release carbohydrates and acids that stimulate microorganism activity which results in the biodegradation of the organic contaminants. This means that the microorganisms are able to digest and break down the toxic substances into harmless form. Phytostimulation has been shown to be effective in degrading petroleum hydrocarbons, PCBs, and PAHs.[11