Pocket Penetrometer Analysis

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The pocket penetrometer is intended as a lightweight tool for use in the field to examine visual classification of soils. It indicates compressive strength, consistency and penetration resistance. However, the readings attained do not replace test results from a laboratory since a insignificant area of penetration test might give misleading results. (Gerald F. Gifford, Robert H. Faust, George B. Coltharp, 1977)
Soil becomes compacted as soil particles are forced to pack more closely together. Mainly through mechanical compression, and this leads to a decrease or total elimination of air pores. Soil compaction may lead to run off and erosion since it reduces soil water permeability is therefore undesirable in agricultural production. Soil strength
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(S. Kizza, O. Areola, 2010)
When analysing figure 1, it is clear that the feeding area (which is represented by sites 10 and 14) shows the largest amount of penetration resistance, followed by the entrance, drinking area, and the sides. The results are expected, since trampling intensity causes an increase in soil penetration. (L.M. Talbot, S.M. Turton, A.W. Graham, 2003)
This pattern is a formation of the social preference of the livestock that are present in the kraal. Animals will accumulate or form groups around the feeding sites that will therefore lead to increased trampling. The same goes for the drinking site, but it is important to take into account the moisture status of the soil at the time of the experiment. If the experiment was conducted during wet conditions, lower levels of compaction can be expected (L.M. Talbot, S.M. Turton, A.W. Graham, 2003). The same can be said for the soil that surrounds the water bowls. Although one may expect to find increased activity in the drinking area, one has to consider the impact of excess water on that surrounding soil. This will result in decreased penetration resistance, as we see in figure 1. Soils that are compacted at high moisture contents and high levels of organic matter will have considerably greater strengths than those with lower organic content. (Edwin Ekwue, Robert Birch, Nicholas Chadee, 2014). There is a decline in porosity values with an increase in years of active kraal utilization that is dependent on compaction of the soil by livestock. Trampling within and around kraal areas influences soil bulk density and reduces porosity that leads to lowered water infiltration. (S. Kizza, O. Areola,

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