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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 531231, 10 pages
Research Article

Spatial Dependence of Physical Attributes and Mechanical Properties of Ultisol in a Sugarcane Field

1Departamento de Engenharia Agrícola, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, BR-222, KM 04, s/n, Boa Vista, 65500-000 Chapadinha, MA, Brazil

Received 1 February 2015; Revised 6 May 2015; Accepted 31 May 2015

Academic Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez

Copyright © 2015 Uilka Elisa Tavares et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the effect of conventional tillage and application of the monoculture of sugar cane on soil health. Variables like density, moisture, texture, consistency limits, and preconsolidation stress were taken as indicators of soil quality. The measurements were made at a 120 × 120 m field cropped with sugar cane under conventional tillage. The objective of this work was to characterize the soil and to study the spatial dependence of the physical and mechanical attributes. Then, undisturbed soil samples were collected to measure bulk density, moisture content and preconsolidation stress and disturbed soil samples for classification of soil texture, and consistency limits. The soil texture indicated that soil can be characterized as sandy clay soil and a sandy clay loam soil, and the consistency limits indicated that the soil presents an inorganic low plasticity clay. The preconsolidation tests tillage in soil moisture content around 19% should be avoided or should be chosen a management of soil with lighter vehicles in this moisture content, to avoid risk of compaction. Using geostatistical techniques mapping was possible to identify areas of greatest conservation soil and greater disturbance of the ground.