Case Study of GPS Soil Sampling and GPS Nutrient Mapping for Fertilizer Required
Background - GPS soil sampling case study
Farmer in Suffolk wanted to optimize fertilizer usage on his farm fields. He wanted more detailed information on soil fertility across his farm fields than shown with conventional W soil sampling. The farm fields were normally sampled every 4 years pre sugar beet crop. So he wanted to keep the same system but sample soils using GPS locations to provide more detailed nutrient data and the nutrient daya presented as GPS nutrient mapping of nutrient availability and fertilizer recommendations. These to aid nutrient management for the coming sugar beet crop as well as the following years barley crop.
Example of GPS Soil Sampling data -
Results from analysis of soil samples
aer presented on a map of all farm fields sampled to make comparison
Nutrient Map of P index , phosphorus index.
Darker colour indicated less nutrient available in the soil and lighter colour the more fertile the soils.
GPS Soil Sampling or GPS Nutrient Mapping for Nutrient Management provides the following information:-
- Digital outline created of field boundaries and GPS data used to map locations of data samples for later display of mapped data, used to show soil results in field map.
- GPS soil sampling involves soil samples collected from each 1 ha area of every field - a sampling grid is imposed on the digital field outline, lining up with tramlines if possible to enable more easy use of results on farm.
- GPS Soil Sampling involves 16 soil cores collected from each 1 ha area of field, these are analysed as a single sample.
- Soil samples analysed for pH, P, K & Mg at NRM laboratory, Bracknell.
- Results of soil nutrient analysis were plotted within field outline as mg nutrient/l field and shown as coloured maps - the deepest colours showing greatest deficiencies. For example a GPS Nutrient map for Phosphate is shown opposite.
- Fertilizer recommendations for nutrient management shown as maps created based on nutrient analysis results and cropping.
- The total fertilizer required is calculated for precision farming UK.
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