The technology for site-specific applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizer has exposed a gap in our knowledge about the spatial variation of soil mineral N, and that which will become available during the growing season within arable fields. Spring mineral N and potentially available N were measured in an arable field together with gravimetric water content, loss on ignition, crop yield, percentages of sand, silt, and clay, and elevation to describe their spatial variation geostatistically. The areas with a larger clay content had larger values of mineral N, potentially available N, loss on ignition and gravimetric water content, and the converse was true for the areas with more sandy soil. The results suggest that the spatial relations between mineral N and loss on ignition, gravimetric water content, soil texture, elevation and crop yield, and between potentially available N and loss on ignition and silt content could be used to indicate their spatial patterns. Variable-rate nitrogen fertilizer application would be feasible in this field because of the spatial structure and the magnitude of variation of mineral N and potentially available N.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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