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Management Zones To Target Nitrogen Applications

3903 words - 16 pages

(Degrees validated by
Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK)

Module title/Code: Precision Agriculture
Level and semester: Level 2, Semester 3, Autumn 2012

Research Project (100% of final grade-max words=3000) - Word count: 2644
Title: Developing Management Zones to Target Nitrogen Applications

Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION ____________________________________________6


PROJECT OBJECTIVE_________________________________7

PRECISION AGRICULTURE AND ...view middle of the document...

Finding out yield variation over a certain a field makes easier to determine and estimate the variable-rate N and as well other nutrient applications, but as well to mention that yield maps may become not clear enough many potential causes of yield variability and as well as errors. 

Using only yield maps in order to make an estimation crop production for nutrient management by not taking into consideration measuring other potential factors as temporary yield-limiting factors such as pest incidence makes an waste of time, resource and effort to make a precision estimation (Goulding & Whitmore 2008).

Generally more than one layer of information is required to find out comparison data and similarities among patterns in order to find nutrient management areas. Furthermore is a right reason for N patterns to exist in fields and as well to have these patterns stable during some years. ’’Zones can be constructed and managed for N using a fraction of the number of soil samples required to reveal the same zones through grid sampling’’ (Franzen & Kitchen 2008). Zone sampling therefore creates opportunities for farmer to achieve lower sampling costs for the variable rate of fertilizer that have to be applied and increases the rate of precision farming to be more convenient for producers of commodity crops.

After this step the next one would be to develop computer models to automate the zone development process and furthermore reviewing several maps in order to create and draw zone boundaries (Franzen & Kitchen 2008).


What is Precision Agriculture (PA)?

Taking into consideration the fact of continually growing world population, increasing the inputs of nutrients in last decades is considered as a solution of increasing the supply food. Nutrient management in agriculture plays significant role. For many years farmers knows that they need to replace nutrients removed in crop plants to maintain an appropriate nutrient balance by keeping the soil fertile. Before the fertilizers were widely available, farmers could observe a deficiency of nutrients in their soils were thereby yields of crops such as wheat were smaller than actually using fertilizers. Later on the produced fertilizers proved to be effective in many experiments such as Rothamasted’s one , were thereby resulted in larger quantity yields. The Rothamasted’s experiments (Rasmussen & Goulding & Brown & Grace & Janzen & Korschens 1998) proved that the use of fertilizers increases yields by two or three time in comparison with the fields that were not using fertilizers (figure 2 shows fertilizers increasing use). Nowadays nutrient management became a globally critical part of the agricultural economical and social sustainability. The important nutrients Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium, sulphur, trace elements (Goulding & Jarvis & Whitmore 2008). Nitrogen is recognized as ’’pillar of the fabled Green Revolution’’ due to the fact...

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