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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331575

Title: Which Fields Need Precision Nitrogen Management the Most?

item Yost, Matt
item Bobryk, Christopher
item Kitchen, Newell

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2016
Publication Date: 8/9/2016
Citation: Yost, M.A., Bobryk, C.W., Kitchen, N.R. 2016. Which Fields Need Precision Nitrogen Management the Most?. International Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) Conference, August 8-10, 2016, Boise, Idaho. Presentation.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Precision agriculture (PA) technologies used for identifying and managing within-field variability are not widely used despite decades of advancement. Many producers are hesitant to adopt PA because uncertainty exists about field-specific performance or the potential return on investment. These concerns could be better addressed by understanding where variability in soil physical and chemical properties may have the greatest effect on crop responses to inputs, such as nitrogen fertilizer. Therefore, identifying fields that exhibit the most variation in soil characteristics (e.g. clay and organic matter content) that influence nitrogen inputs could greatly advance PA adoption and use. A pilot analysis was conducted identifying potential soil variability for the topsoil (0-30 cm) within agricultural fields across Missouri. Significant high clay variability clusters were observed mostly along the Missouri River floodplain and across southeastern Missouri along the Mississippi River. High organic matter variability clusters exhibited similar distributions as clay. In addition, low organic matter variability clusters also existed within the Central Claypan region. This research could be used as a nitrogen decision support tool to aid practitioners in determining the greatest opportunities to implement PA.