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Title: Variable rate fertilization for maize and its effects based on the site-specific soil fertility and yield

item Lan, Yubin
item LI, WEI
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item XU, YAN

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2007
Publication Date: 12/22/2007
Citation: Zhang, S., Lan, Y., Li, W., Hoffmann, W.C., Xu, Y., Ma, C. 2007. Variable rate fertilization for maize and its effects based on the site-specific soil fertility and yield. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Paper No. 07-1066.

Interpretive Summary: Variable rate fertilization (VRF) has a positive effect on the agricultural development and environmentally-friendly application of fertilizer. VRF is based on crop productivity differences across a field, and varying the inputs to a specific area of a field based on plant nutrition or soil fertility. A VRF system was designed and manufactured, and prescription maps were developed based on nutrient levels and the yield goal. The VRF system increased maize yield by 11 to 33% and reduced application rates by 29 to 32% when compared to uniform application of fertilizer. Consequently, the VRF nearly doubled the cost-benefit ratio of the uniform application of fertilizer. The VRF system will provide a useful tool for farmers and researchers who want to apply precision agricultural technologies for enhanced crop production.

Technical Abstract: The experiments of variable rate fertilization (VRF) for maize were carried out using a self-developed VRF system. In the studies, prescriptions of VRF were made for maize according to the nutrient levels in soil and the theory of yield goal. The results of this study have shown that VRF increased maize yield by 11% more in 2004 than that of conventional method of fertilization and 33% more in 2005. In addition to higher yields, VRF also increased the cost-benefit ratio for reasonable rates of fertilizer application.