The objective of this investigation is to determine the possibility of rapidly sensing soil mineral-N content using near infrared (NIR) reflectance. Simulation studies were conducted to determine the ability of Partial Least Squares (PLS) and Principal Components Regression (PCR) techniques to relate NIR spectral data to soil nitrate content in the presence of interfering effects and experimental noise. The simulation studies revealed that both PLS and PCR techniques were quite robust in predicting soil nitrate content provided the calibration set included the same interfering effects. These techniques failed completely if the prediction set contained interfering effects which were not included in the calibration set. This implies that a site-specific calibration is necessary for this technique to work successfully. Laboratory tests using Yolo loam and Capay clay soil samples as well as verification tests using field soils (Yolo loam and Capay clay) mixed with nitrogen fertilizer indicated that soil mineral-N content can be determined using the NIR technique provided site-specific calibration is used.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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