Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Crop producers go high-tech with GPS technology


Global Positioning Systems prepare a digital map for precise soil acidity identification

A study conducted by Iowa State University soil scientists suggests Global Positioning Systems (GPS) available to corn and soybean producers can markedly improve the management of soil acidity and lime application. The research is published in the January/February 2003 issue of Agronomy Journal.

Soil acidity can limit plant growth, and due to soil formation processes and management practices, there exists large pH variability within producers’ fields. Lime often needs to be applied to maintain profitable crop production; however, traditional methods make it impractical to change lime application rates over a field. Producers usually apply a uniform rate although they recognize only a small proportion of the field receives the optimum application.

New technologies can change these situations. Global positioning systems (GPS) and advances in computer software allow for precise identification of soil sample positions in the field and improved soil-test mapping. Variable rate technology (VRT), which combines GPS, computer-based controllers, and digital soil-test maps, provides a practical way for applying desired lime rates over a field.

The study was conducted by Dr. Antonio Mallarino and graduate research assistant Agustin Bianchini in central Iowa during two years in one field and three years in another field, and received support from the Iowa Soybean Association and a local producer. The two fields had very high pH variability.

The study suggests that while a new zone soil sampling approach based on various information layers may not provide better information than the denser grid sampling approach used by many producers, it is less costly and adapts well to different field and economic conditions. Zone sampling uses a variety of information layers (such as yield maps, aerial crop canopy images, digitized soil survey maps, and electrical conductivity maps among others) to define sampling areas within a field.

The lime application portion of the study showed the VRT method resulted in more efficient lime management, reducing the lime need to 60% compared with the traditional uniform-rate application method and reduced soil pH variability.

Although the results showed no cost-effective sampling approach will completely alleviate the limitation of current VRT equipment to manage the small-scale pH variability existing in many fields, a combination of GPS, zone soil sampling, and VRT provides a reasonable and efficient management of soil acidity and lime application.

Agronomy Journal, is a peer-reviewed, international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). Agronomy Journal contains research papers on all aspects of crop and soil science including military land use and management, agroclimatology and agronomic modeling, environmental quality, international agronomy, agricultural research station management, and integrated agricultural systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are educational organizations helping their 10,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Algorithm could streamline harvesting of hand-picked crops
13.03.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht A global conflict: agricultural production vs. biodiversity
06.03.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>