The adoption of precision viticulture requires a detailed knowledge of variation in soil chemical, physical and profile properties. This study evaluates the usefulness of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) data within a GIS framework to identify variations in soil chemical and physical properties and moisture content. The work was conducted in a vineyard located in the Carneros Region (Napa Valley, California). The soil was sampled using 44 boreholes to quantify chemical and physical characteristics and 9 open pits to verify the borehole observations. Moisture content was determined using time domain reflectometry (TDR). To characterize soil ECa, three campaigns were undertaken using a soil electrical conductivity meter (EM38). Linear regressions between soil ECa and soil properties were determined. Boreholes and TDR data were interpolated by kriging to characterize the spatial distribution of soil variables. The resulting maps were compared to the results obtained using the best ECa linear regressions. Using ECa measurements, soil properties like extractable Na+ and Mg2+, clay and sand content were well estimated, while best estimates were obtained for extractable Na+ (r 2 = 0.770) and clay content (r 2 = 0.621). The best estimates for soil moisture content corresponded to moisture in the deeper soil horizons (r 2 = 0.449). The methods described above provided maps of soil properties estimated by ECa in a GIS framework, and could save time and resources during vineyard establishment and management.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 18, 2011
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