Soil health is one of the strands of our ‘Geomatics Meets Soil Management’ Special Interest Group meeting on 17th May 2016.
Simon Griffin, Technical Manager at SOYL Precision Crop Production, will be discussing how a combination of soil mapping and precision farming techniques can help farmers improve crop production.
SOYL collects precision data at high levels of resolution which has resulted in a huge amount of information being acquired across fields and seasons. Simon’s presentation will explore the potential benefits of using this multi-layered precision data to better understand soils and drive farm performance.
He says: “SOYL first started collecting geo-referenced soil nutrient data in the 1990s. From this it has created maps of P and K that show variation within fields allowing the more efficient and economic use of fertilisers using GPS technology to direct the application. Further developments have led to the mapping of variations in the physical properties of the soil using electro-magnetic induction.
“Hundreds of data points collected over a hectare produce very detailed maps that show how the soil texture, depth, stone content and other soil parameters change across a field. This has allowed the creation of a nitrogen recommendation service based on using satellite imagery to map variation in crop biomass, growth and nitrogen uptake during the season.
“Soil mapping enables the farmer to manage each part of the field to its optimum, increasing yields and saving inputs where they are not required. Typical yield responses are 4-9%. However, an additional and potentially even greater benefit can be realised by combining all of this data to understand the dynamics between all factors, including soil, crop and nutrients.
“By looking at spatial relationships between data sets it is possible to better understand how, for example, crop growth and yield are related to particular soil types or to nutrient levels. Outcomes of changes to aspects of management programmes can also be assessed such as changing seed rates or adjusting nitrogen applications.”
By measuring a combination of factors SOYL can compare with previous years or similar situations on other land to predict potential yield. Management can then be customized to ensure optimised returns and farm profitability.
For more information on the event click here.