To provide reliable estimates for mapping soil properties for precision agriculture requires intensive sampling and costly laboratory analyses. If the spatial structure of ancillary data, such as yield, digital information from aerial photographs, and soil electrical conductivity (EC) measurements, relates to that of soil properties they could be used to guide the sampling intensity for soil surveys. Variograms of permanent soil properties at two study sites on different parent materials were compared with each other and with those for ancillary data. The ranges of spatial dependence identified by the variograms of both sets of properties are of similar orders of magnitude for each study site. Maps of the ancillary data appear to show similar patterns of variation and these seem to relate to those of the permanent properties of the soil. Correlation analysis has confirmed these relations. Maps of kriged estimates from sub-sampled data and the original variograms showed that the main patterns of variation were preserved when a sampling interval of less than half the average variogram range of ancillary data was used. Digital data from aerial photographs for different years and EC appear to show a more consistent relation with the soil properties than does yield. Aerial photographs, in particular those of bare soil, seem to be the most useful ancillary data and they are often cheaper to obtain than yield and EC data.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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