Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

Using precision farming technologies to improve management of soil and fertiliser nitrogen

A. M. Blackmer and S. E. White

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 49(3) 555 - 564
Published: 1998


Advances in technology are making global positioning systems, on-the-go yield monitors, geographic information systems, remote sensing, communication networks, and variable-rate application techniques available to crop producers. There is, however, no established methodology for using these technologies in agricultural research to develop basic knowledge needed to improve crop production practices. This report describes how these new technologies are being used to develop recommendations for N management during non-irrigated corn production in the corn belt of the USA. The discussion begins with relevant background information about the prevailing N-management practices for this crop and some challenges posed by the advent of the new technologies. This is followed by a description of the various methods being used to collect data in field trials. An example of a field trial is then presented and the potential importance of management-induced variability is illustrated. This is followed by some general observations derived from the results of many field studies. The discussion concludes with speculation about the nature of N fertiliser prescriptions during crop production with precision farming technologies

© CSIRO 1998

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