Submitted to: Plant and Soil Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Crop yield varies within fields due to nonuniformity of a number of factors including climate, pests, disease, management, topography, and soil. Conventional farming manages a field uniformly; as a result, conventional farming tends to wastes resources and money, and tends to detrimentally impact the environment. One way of handling crop yield variability in a cost and resource effective manner is divide a field into management units based on the observed yield and soil variability so that each unit can be treated similarly in order to optimize yield, resource utilization, and profitability, and minimize detrimental environmental impacts. These site-specific management units or SSMUs are a key component of precision agriculture. It is the objective of this presentation to provide a discussion of the methodology for delineating SSMUs using geophysical techniques with particular focus on delineating SSMUs to manage soil salinity. The approach uses spatial measurements of electrical conductivity to locate where soil samples are to be taken to characterize the variability of soil properties influencing the variation of crop yield within a field, particularly the properties of soil salinity. Maps of the SSMUs are created that provide a producer with information for variable-rate technology (e.g., site-specific fertilizer and irrigation water application).