Evaluating Farmer Defined Management Zone Maps for Variable Rate Fertilizer Application

Evaluating Farmer Defined Management Zone Maps for Variable Rate Fertilizer Application In the U.S.A. intensive grid soil sampling has conventionally been used to develop prescription maps for variable rate (VRT) fertilizer application. Grid sampling can provide an accurate basis for variable rate application; however the cost and labor requirements suggest other approaches may be more economical. This research was initiated to determine if farmer-developed management zone maps based on soil color from aerial photographs, topography, and the farmer's past management experience can be effective in developing variable rate application maps. The accuracy of farmer-developed management zone maps was investigated on two center pivot irrigated fields near Wiggins, Colorado. Using aerial photographs as a template, the farmer defined high, medium, and low productivity management zones. Cluster analysis confirmed that management zones represent different suites of soil characteristics. In field one, soil organic matter (SOM), clay, nitrate, potassium, zinc, conductivity and corn yield data followed the trends indicated by the management zones. In field two, however, the medium productivity zone had the highest values for these parameters. Farmer developed management zones appear to be effective in identifying different management zones; however, ground truthing is needed to develop accurate VRT maps from the zones. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Precision Agriculture Springer Journals

Evaluating Farmer Defined Management Zone Maps for Variable Rate Fertilizer Application

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Agriculture; Soil Science & Conservation; Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry; Statistics for Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences
ISSN
1385-2256
eISSN
1573-1618
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1011481832064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the U.S.A. intensive grid soil sampling has conventionally been used to develop prescription maps for variable rate (VRT) fertilizer application. Grid sampling can provide an accurate basis for variable rate application; however the cost and labor requirements suggest other approaches may be more economical. This research was initiated to determine if farmer-developed management zone maps based on soil color from aerial photographs, topography, and the farmer's past management experience can be effective in developing variable rate application maps. The accuracy of farmer-developed management zone maps was investigated on two center pivot irrigated fields near Wiggins, Colorado. Using aerial photographs as a template, the farmer defined high, medium, and low productivity management zones. Cluster analysis confirmed that management zones represent different suites of soil characteristics. In field one, soil organic matter (SOM), clay, nitrate, potassium, zinc, conductivity and corn yield data followed the trends indicated by the management zones. In field two, however, the medium productivity zone had the highest values for these parameters. Farmer developed management zones appear to be effective in identifying different management zones; however, ground truthing is needed to develop accurate VRT maps from the zones.

Journal

Precision AgricultureSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

  • Influence of spatial autocorrelation on a fixed-effect model used to evaluate treatment of oil spills
    Bohham, C. D.; Reich, R. M.

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