Site specific soil analysis and variablerate applications

Region: Mackay

Fact sheet: Site specific soil analysis and variable rate applications

Grower involved: Tony Bugeja

Site specific soil analysis and variable rate applications.

Precision agriculture (PA) begins with the soil, which is the basic management unit in any paddock, and deals with the responses in crop growth to the complex interactions of soil nutritional status, soil physical properties (especially soil texture), surface and subsurface drainage, seasonal conditions, soil health, pests and diseases, cane variety adaptability to soil type, and paddock management practices.

A PA approach incorporating management zones and variable rate application (VRA) at an intra-block scale provides a potential pathway to refine farm inputs according to the soil constraints and the potential of defined zones. This approach would have a positive influence on water quality and on N use efficiency.