Soil and cropping experts will use four soil pits to demonstrate management techniques that can minimize soil compaction.

Soil compaction field demonstrations will be held near Fergus Falls, Minn., on Sept. 1.

Registration for the Tires, Traction and Compaction field day starts at 9 a.m. Education demonstrations and presentations will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m.

The University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University Extension Service are sponsoring the event.

The Tires, Traction and Compaction field day will focus on the causes and effects of compaction in farm fields. Soil and cropping experts will use four soil pits to demonstrate management techniques that can minimize soil compaction.

Jay Jabro, agricultural engineer at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, Mont., will discuss the impact of soil compaction on physical and hydraulic properties and crop yields. Jabro also will report on research he is conducting on the effect of the freeze/thaw cycle on soil compaction.

Randy Taylor, Oklahoma State University Extension agricultural engineer, will discuss the effects of using bias or radial tires and tracks on grain carts.

Mike Sucik, Iowa Natural Resource Conservation Service soil scientist, will discuss soil structure and quality, and field management strategies designed to maintain natural soil structure.

There will be demonstrations highlighting tire vs. track research, and tire and equipment maintenance that will help producers manage and reduce compaction. Exhibitors will be on site to help choose tire configurations, tire maintenance and machinery options to minimize compaction.

Also featured will be a soil compaction pit to demonstrate the compaction caused by tractor tires. In advance of the soil compaction field day, event coordinators will excavate trenches, refill the pits with layers of soil and white powder, drive tractors over the areas and then excavate the pit again to demonstrate how far down in the soil profile that compaction occurs.

There is no charge to attend the demonstrations. However, viewing space around the field demonstration pits may be limited. Preregistration is recommended so the field layout can be adjusted to accommodate participants. To preregister, call (888) 241-3261 or email

For more information, contact John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension agricultural machine systems specialist, by email at or (701) 261-9842 or Jodi DeJong-Hughes at or (320) 815-4112.

To get to the demonstrations from Fergus Falls, take Minnesota Highway 210 west to French, Minn. From there, go south on 138th Avenue. (turns into 220 Street), then go west on 220th Street for a quarter mile, then south on 135th Avenue for one mile, and west on 210th Street for one mile.

Agricultural producers Don and Dan Bradow will host the site.