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Precision Fertilization for Crop Protection and Yield Optimization

Aspects of precision farming

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According to precision farming experts, one of the first steps in the transition to the use of variable input
dosing is to identify the exact factors that cause yield variations.

How variable rate cropping works and how it can benefit grain growers.

Key points:
– The goal of variable rate application is to place crop inputs where they will provide the best return on investment.

– The first step is to identify the cause of yield changes, usually through soil testing.

– Prescription input maps are prepared to vary the amount of inputs on the fly.

– The addition of test strips will help assess the benefits of a variable rate approach after harvest.

– The goal is to eliminate input and production variability across fields or entire farms.

Precision crop image.

What are the most important considerations when using variable rate fertilization technology

The magnitude of variability:Is there a large variation in an important trait in the corral, such as plant establishment, dry matter, grain yield or grain protein, that can be managed to improve overall profitability?

Distribution of variance: Is the variance highly dispersed and scattered across the field or is it clustered in larger areas that can be managed with variable rate applicators?

Type of variation: Spatial variation refers to variation across the field (horizontally) and across the soil profile (vertically), while temporal variation refers to the consistency of variation from year to year and from crop to crop.

Primary cause of variability:Sodic soils that are dispersive in depth may not be cost-effective to manage. However, significant variations in nitrogen, phosphorus, soil pHCa, or surface dispersible sodium can be managed with appropriate attention.

Correlation does not always equate to causation: Be cautious when using indirect measures of variability, as sometimes the relationship with the trait under study may have a low correlation. For example, measuring soil nitrogen content on a grid basis is expensive. Some indirect measures may include EM38, NDVI and semi-white. However, these properties may be influenced by other factors independent of nitrogen. This is an area where professional help can be particularly useful in developing a deeper understanding. Accordingly, field strips can be used to confirm or reject the use of an indirect measure.

What do we mean by precision fertilization? Find out at this link.

So always remember that the goal is to improve long-term profitability by maximizing return on investment.

Article source:Grains Research and Development Corporation