Precision agriculture in relation to nutrient management by Dr. Tarik Mitran

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Published on March 14, 2014

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Precision Agriculture in relation to Nutrient management

Precision Agriculture in relation toin relation to Nutrient managementNutrient management Speaker: Dr. Tarik MitranSpeaker: Dr. Tarik Mitran SST Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science ,,

“It would be a simple matter to describe the earth’s surface if it were the same every where. The environment, however, is not like that there is almost endless variety.” – Webster and Oliver (1990).

Definition of Precision Ag. Precision agriculture is an art and science of utilizing innovative, site- specific techniques for management of spatial and temporal variability using affordable technologies… for enhancing output, efficiency, and profitability of agricultural production in an environmentally responsible manner Source: Koch and Khosla, 2003

Basic steps in precision farming Assessing variation Managing variation Evaluation

The Building Blocks of Precision Farming Global Positioning Systems Geographic Information Systems Direct & Remot e Sensi ng Variabl e Rate Techno logy Yield Monit ors Precisi on Naviga tion Precision Data Management Software Direct & Remot e Sensi ng Yield Monit ors Source: Shibusawa, 2001

Components of PF • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) • Variable Rate Technology (VRT) • Yield Monitor • Remote Sensing • Use of Laser Land leveler in SSNM

Science has never had aScience has never had a more complete set ofmore complete set of “knowledge nuggets”.“knowledge nuggets”. Industry has never had aIndustry has never had a more impressive set ofmore impressive set of technologies.technologies. Wright Highly P fixing soilHighly P fixing soil The challenge: Delivering science and technology to the farm such that it can be integrated in support of decision making

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Computer software that stores, analyzes and displays spatial data and its corresponding attributes • Attributes include: soil type, pH, salinity levels, nutrient levels, and crop history • GIS can overlay multiple data maps • GIS can store, calculate, and model current and historical data • Maps are the main visual output but can include reports, tables and charts

GIS Example Data layer of yield Data layer of topography from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Data layer of soil conductivity Output: A visual display of areas of low yield and high EC, indicating possible salinity problems OR fertility differences GIS can be used to predict fertilizer needs across a field

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) An instrument that receives satellite signals to calculate your position (latitude, longitude and elevation). Source: Morgan and Ess, 1997

Signal Availability and Accuracy Availability: GPS units need 4 or more signals to accurately pinpoint your location. Signal loss can occur with atmospheric conditions, excessive electromagnetic radiation (e.g. a microwave transmitting tower), etc. Differential GPS (DGPS) – corrects signals DGPS – accurate within 1 yard Uncorrected GPS - accurate to within 10 yards. It’s important to recognize uncorrected GPS from DGPS. Uncorrected GPS accuracy has greatly improved in the last few years.

Having precise location information allows soil and crop measurements to be mapped. GPS/GIS Source: A Conference on Nutrient Management:A Certified Crop Adviser’s Perspective by Steven Cromley, Certified Crop Adviser, Columbia, 2007

Phosphorus Variability found through Field Map by GIS/GPS. Soil test phosphorus levels range from low to very high.

Precision agriculture allows you to place the nutrients where you need them. • Maximize crop returns with a minimum amount of inputs. • The environment is protected because only the precise quantity of inputs is applied when and where needed. “Do the right things in the right place at the right time and in the right way”

Remote Sensing (RS) Collects data from reflected electromagnetic energy and converts it into images using satellites or airplanes. Any data that is suspect or highly irregular, needs to be confirmed by field investigation. Source: Morgan and Ess, 1997

Source: www.ppi-ppic.orgSource:

Source: Gowrisankar and Adiga, 2001 Major Indian remote sensing missions for agriculture (current & immediate future) Mission Year of launch Sensors IRS-IA, IB 1988 1991 LISS-I (72.5 m resolution) LISS-II (36.25 m resolution) IRS-P2 1994 LISS-II (36 m resolution) IRS-IC, ID 1995 1997 PAN (5.8 m resolution LISS-III (23.5, 70.5 m resolution) WiFS (188.3 m resolution) IRS-P3 1996 WiFS (188.3 m resolution) TES 2001 PAN (1 m resolution RESOURCESAT-1 2001 LISS-IV (6 m resolution) LISS-III (23 m resolution) AWiFS (80 m resolution) CARTOSAT-1 2002 PAN Stereo (2.5 m resolution CARTOSAT-2 2002/03 PAN Stereo (1 m resolution

Example of Remote Sensing Imagery Source: Bricklemeyer et al., 2002 A Montana study identified no-till fields with RS imagery with 95% accuracy. Selected till treatments (bold white lines) and no- till fields (dashed).

Yield Monitoring and Mapping • Sensors mounted on the combine measuring yield as the crop is harvested. • Coupled with a GPS logging location, data can be mapped. • Identifies in-field variations in yield. • Allows fine tuning of next year’s seeding and fertilizer applications. • Overall yield monitor accuracy is improving with use and research, while in-field accuracy is improved with calibration. Yield monitors are attached to conveyors or combines to measure grain yield and moisture content.

Comparison between Conventional and Precision agriculture Operation Tools implements and equipments Conventional Precised Land Development and Levelling Bullock or tractor operated scrappers and levelers Lasers guided precession land leveler. Tillage Mould board plough disc harrow, tyne cultivators, bakhars etc. Pneumatic plants inclined plate planter, vegetable and rice transplanter, Potato Planter, sugarcane planter etc. Irrigation Centrifugal and submersible pump, lift irrigation etc. Sprinkler and drip irrigation systems Plant Protection Manual, animal operated or engine operated sprayer, duster Self propelled, Power tiller sprayer electro static and air assisted spraying Harvesting and threshing Sickles and reaper Grain combines sugarcane harvester, high capacity multicrop threshers, potato and ground nut digger etc.

Why is Precision Nutrient Management Important? • Nutrient variability within a field can be very high (graphs to follow), affecting optimum fertilizer rates. • Yield potential and grain protein can also vary greatly even within one field, affecting fertilizer requirements. • Increasing fertilizer use efficiency will become more important with increasing fertilizer costs and environmental concerns

Source: Keith Jones, 2008Source: Keith Jones, 2008 Govern by 4 R’sGovern by 4 R’s Nutrient Mangement in Precision Agriculture

SITE SPECIFIC NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT ‘Feeding of crop with nutrients as and when needed’  Fertilizers have played a key role in increasing crop production.  Cost of fertilizer is increasing.  The current fertilizer practice results in high loss of applied fertilizers. Recently, scientists have developed a new technique of nutrient management known as site specific nutrient management- based on site, climate and actual plant needs.

Source: P. C. Robert (2002), Plant & Soil 247

Grid Soil Sampling • Field is divided into equal areas (grid cell). • 10 cores (min.) composited within each grid cell, either a random or systematic pattern. • Collected composite sample represented each area appropriately. • Fertility Map produce, provide accurate information about soil reaction, nutrient status. Advantage: • Provides a good assessment of variability. Disadvantage: • Expensive.

Whole Field vs. Site Specific Management Whole-fieldWhole-field assumes the “average” conditions are theassumes the “average” conditions are the same everywhere within the field (uniform/homogenous)same everywhere within the field (uniform/homogenous) Management action is theManagement action is the same throughoutsame throughout the fieldthe field Z1 Z3 Z2 Z1 Z2 DiscreteDiscrete Management ZonesManagement Zones break the field into areas ofbreak the field into areas of similar conditionssimilar conditions (zones)(zones) Management action is theManagement action is the same withinsame within each zoneeach zone ContinuousContinuous SurfacesSurfaces break the field into smallbreak the field into small consistent piecesconsistent pieces (cells(cells)) that track specificthat track specific conditions at each locationconditions at each location Management actionManagement action varies throughoutvaries throughout the fieldthe field ((BerryBerry)) The bulk of agriculturalThe bulk of agricultural research has beenresearch has been ““non-spatialnon-spatial”” ……but PA is all aboutbut PA is all about spatial relationships/patternsspatial relationships/patterns Research OpportunityResearch Opportunity Is Smart Sampling really dumb?Is Smart Sampling really dumb?

Recognize Field Nutrient VariabilityRecognize Field Nutrient Variability Nitrate - Nitrogen lbs/acre 0-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-80 >80 SourceSource:: Hailin Zhang and Gordon Johnson, 1997 Soil test nitrate N – variability in 25′×′25 area in Garfield County Oklahoma

Visualizing Spatial Relationships What spatial relationshipsWhat spatial relationships do you see?do you see? Interpolated Spatial DistributionInterpolated Spatial Distribution Phosphorous (P) ……do relatively high levelsdo relatively high levels of P often occur with highof P often occur with high levels of K and N?levels of K and N? ……how often? …where?how often? …where? HUMANSHUMANS can “see” broadcan “see” broad generalized patternsgeneralized patterns in ain a singlesingle map variablemap variable Source: Joseph K. Berry 9th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, 2008 — Denver, ColoradoSource: Joseph K. Berry 9th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, 2008 — Denver, Colorado

Variable Rate Technology • Varying the application rates of seed, fertilizer or pesticides to adjust for in-field differences • Historically, intensive soil sampling had been necessary to measure and adjust for this variation. Refers to any equipment designed to allowRefers to any equipment designed to allow the rate of farm inputs to be preciselythe rate of farm inputs to be precisely controlled and varied while the machine is incontrolled and varied while the machine is in operationoperation

Variable Rate Technology Precision agriculture technologies such as variable-rate fertilizer applicators can increase cotton profitability by improving nutrient use efficiency. Source: Phillips et al.(2008) Better Crops, 92 ( No. 3)

Integrated Sensing & Application Individual SensorsIndividual Sensors Six individual sensor readings are used to calculateSix individual sensor readings are used to calculate the crops mean NDVI for the width of the applicatorthe crops mean NDVI for the width of the applicator and the N rate is automatically adjustedand the N rate is automatically adjusted RT200 Variable Rate Applicator with GreenSeeker Crop appearance – high tech (before yield loss) Lafond, 2005

TOOLS MONITORED EFFECTIVE OPTION FOR SCHEDULING FIELD SPECIFIC APPLICATION OF FERTILIZER Source: Misha and Shukla, 2007 For Nitrogen during the growing season, based on plant leaf N- status which is monitored by leaf colour Chart (LCC)

Gains in irrigated rice yield and the agronomic efficiency of fertilizer-N (kg grain yield increase per kg fertilizer-N applied) through site-specific nutrient management in Nueva Ecija province, Philippines. Source: Dobermann et al., 2004

Table – : Productivity of rice and wheat as influenced by SSNM at Pant agar Tr. No. Rice Wheat Major Nutrients (kg /ha) Yield (kg/ha) Rice Wheat Major Nutrients (kg /ha) Micro- nutrient (kg/ha) N P2O5 K Borax N P2O5 K Grain Straw Grain Straw T1 170 60 120 5 170 60 120 7950 8850 5625 11093 T2 170 30 120 5 170 30 120 7850 8600 5468 9250 T3 170 0 120 5 170 0 120 7600 8050 5343 10593 T4 170 30 80 5 170 30 80 7800 8160 5094 9281 T5 170 30 40 5 170 30 40 7400 7930 6218 10968 T6 170 30 0 5 170 30 0 7100 7820 5281 8937 T7 170 30 120 5 170 30 120 7305 8010 5156 10718 T8 170 30 120 0 170 30 120 7500 8090 5687 10406 T9 State Recommended doses of Nutrients 7200 7935 5750 9718Source : Annual Report : 2005 – 06 AICRP – CS

Table –Yield of rice and wheat (2003-04) as influenced by SSNM at Modipuram Tr. Rice (kg/ha) Wheat (kg/ha) Yield (kg/ha) Rice Wheat N P2O5 K2O S ZnSO4 MnSO4 Borax N P2O5 K2O Grain Grain T1 170 0 120 20 30 17 5 150 0 120 9060 5120 T2 170 30 120 20 30 17 5 150 30 120 10480 6090 T3 170 30 80 20 30 17 5 150 30 80 10220 5970 T4 170 30 40 20 30 17 5 150 30 40 9290 5430 T5 170 30 0 20 30 17 5 150 30 0 7840 5010 T6 170 30 120 20 30 17 5 150 30 120 9240 5520 T7 170 30 120 20 30 17 5 150 30 120 8840 5810 T8 170 30 120 20 0 17 5 150 30 120 8420 5740 T9 170 30 120 0 30 17 5 150 30 120 7730 5180 T10 170 75 75 - 25 17 5 150 60 60 7040 4920 STL R 170 65 55 - 25 17 5 180 45 45 6940 6070 FP 170 60 - - 25 17 5 180 60 - 6700 4360 CD (P<0.05) 421 326

Table : Productivity of rice and wheat as influence by SSNM at Kanpur Tr. No Rice (kg /ha) Wheat (kg /ha) Yield (kg/ha) Rice Wheat N P205 K2O S ZnSO4 N P205 K2O Grain Straw Grain Straw T1 150 30 120 40 25 150 30 120 9351 10180 5733 6022 T2 150 0 120 40 25 150 0 120 8413 9375 5409 5769 T3 150 60 120 40 25 150 60 120 9471 10290 5817 6022 T4 150 30 80 40 25 150 30 80 8690 9579 5657 5841 T5 150 30 40 40 25 150 30 40 8413 9254 5553 5865 T6 150 30 0 40 25 150 30 0 8329 9099 5481 5793 T7 150 30 120 40 50 150 30 120 9796 10998 6406 6875 T8 150 30 120 0 25 150 30 120 8065 9122 5613 6106 T9 150 30 120 40 0 150 30 120 8546 10084 5433 5745 T10 150 30 120 0 0 150 30 120 8029 9512 5457 6022 T11 State Recommended doses of Nutrients (N-150, P-75, K-60, Zn- 25kg/ha) 8462 9928 5661 5938 T12 Farmer’s Practice (n30, P30, K0) 7260 7885 4964 5673 Source : Annual Report : 2005 – 06, AICRP – CS

Laser Land Leveling Laser Land Leveling is a process of smoothing the land surface from its average elevation using laser equipped with drag buckets. This practice uses tractor & soil movers that are equipped with GPS/laser guided instrumentation so that soil can moved either by cutting or filling to create desired level. Advantages  Increases nutrient use efficiency.  Improves application and distribution efficiency of irrigation water.  Increases crop productivity.  Helps in weed management.

Functioning of laser land leveler

Source: Jat et al. (2006) Grain yield of rice and wheat under precision and traditional land leveling in western Uttar Pradesh Statistical parameters Grain yield(t/ha) rice wheat Leaser leveling Traditional leveling Leaser leveling Traditional leveling Number of farmer 71.00 71.00 71.00 71.00 minimum 3.90 3.50 4.60 4.20 maximum 5.70 5.44 6.21 6.12 mean 4.84 4.51 5.53 5.21 kurtosis -0.63 -0.62 -1.09 -0.931 skewness -0.29 -0.07 -0.24 -0.093 SD 0.46 0.462 0.435 0.460 SE 0.055 0.055 0.052 0.054 CV(%) 9.58 10.24 7.86 8.82

Source: Jat and Sharma, 2005 Grain Yield Of Rice And Wheat Under Precision And Traditional Land Leveling at Modipuram TraditionalPrecision

Treatment Agronomic Efficiency of N (Kg Kg-1 ) Agronomic Efficiency of P (Kg Kg-1 ) Agronomic Efficiency of K (Kg Kg-1 ) 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 Laser Leveling + NPK (120:26:40) Kg ha-1 18.75 20.00 86.54 92.31 56.25 60.00 Traditional Leveling + NPK (120:26:40) Kg ha-1 7.67 9.17 35.38 42.31 23.00 27.50 Source: Pal et al.,2004 Agronomic Efficiency (Kg Kg-1) of N,P and K under different Land Leveling System in Rice at Modipuram (UP)

Effect of Precision land leveling on uptake efficiency of N, P and K in rice Source: Precision Farming Project (NATP)

Source: Jat & Sharma, 2007

Need for Precision Farming in India • Increased Land degradation. (In India, out of 329 million ha of total geographical area182 million ha of area is affected by land degradation due to water erosion, wind erosion, water logging and chemical deterioration.) • Depletion of Water resources. • Socio economic need for enhanced productivity / unit of land, water and time. • Environment Pollution because of increased and indiscriminate use of fertilizers and chemicals. • Precision Farming is essential in order to address poverty alleviation, enhance quality of life and food security.

PROBLEMS IN ADOPTION OF PRECISION FARMING TECHNOLOGY: • Fragmented land holding • Lack of continuously monitoring the health and availability of the nature resources. • Climatic aberrations. • Operational constraints. • Uncertainty in getting the various inputs. • Absence of a long standing and uniform agricultural policy. • Lack of success stories. • Lack of local technical expertise. • Land ownership, Infrastructure and Institutional constraints.

Probable Strategies • Farmer’s co-operatives. • Pilot projects. • Agricultural input suppliers, Extension advisors and consultant play important role in the spread of the technology. • Combined effort of Researchers and Government. • Public agencies should consider supplying free data such as remotely sensed imagery to the universities and research institutes involved in Precision farming research.

Relevance Of Precision Farming To Indian Condition (Present Scenario) • Precision farming technologies have been developed and adopted in developed nations such as USA, Europe, Canada and Australia. • Agriculturally progressive states such as Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan, 20% of agricultural lands have operational holding of 4 ha or more. When contiguous fields with the same crop are considered, those fields are used to initial the implementation of precision farming. • The concept of precision farming being implements by the Tata Kisan Kendra. • Some of the research institutes. Such as Space Applications Centre ,ISRO M.S. Swamminathan Research Foundation, Chennai Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; Project Directorate of Cropping System Research, Modipuram………………………had started working in this direction.

Conclusion • Research on Precision Farming is at infancy stage in our country. • Tools and techniques for assessing soil and yield variability for application of inputs need to be standardized at a low cost and farmers’ friendly. • Thus, Precision Farming may help farmers to harvest fruits of frontier technologies without compromising on the quality of land and produce. • The Precision Farming would trigger a techno-green revolution in India which is the need of the hour.

He Sits over Here for Precision Farming Thanks for your attention

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