In Indiana, variable rate application (VRA) of lime is often considered a good place to start site-specific management (SSM). This is because soil pH is one of the most variable of manageable soil characteristics in the state, the availability of essential nutrients is closely related to soil pH, and because spreaders can be retrofitted relatively inexpensively to do VRA. The objective of this study is to evaluate the profitability of VRA for lime as a stand-alone activity. The methodology involves a spreadsheet model using corn and soybean pH response functions estimated with small plot data. The overall results indicate increased annual returns to corn and soybean production with site-specific pH management strategies. On average, SSM with agronomic recommendations provides an increased annual return of $7.24 per hectare (ha) (+1.78%). SSM with the economic decision rule provides an average increase in annual return of $19.55 ha−1 (+4.82%). Information strategy, which uses site-specific information to determine the economically optimal uniform rate of lime, provides an average increase in annual return of $14.38 ha−1 (+3.54%).
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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