54-1 Evaluation Of Sensor-Based Technologies and Nitrogen Sources For Improved Spring Wheat Recommendations.

Poster Number 706

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Agronomic Production Systems
See more from this Session: General Sensor-Based Nutrient Management: II

Monday, November 4, 2013
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall

Olga S. Walsh1, Robin Christiaens1, Martha Knox2 and Arjun Pandey3, (1)Western Triangle Ag. Research Center, Montana State University, Conrad, MT
(2)Western Ag. Research Center, Montana State University, Corvallis, MT
(3)School of Agriculture and Food, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Precision agriculture tools such as sensor-based technologies allow us to accurately access the crop’s nutrient status and account for spatial and temporal variability. This enables adjusting fertilizer application rates according to site-specific conditions which results in more efficient, profitable, and sustainable crop production. Remote sensing is a precision agriculture technique that quantitatively measures vegetation indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The feasibility of various sensor-based systems must be evaluated before a recommendation can be made as to what system is more efficient and appropriate for Montana conditions. The major objectives of this study are: 1. To evaluate two sensors – GreenSeeker, and Pocket Sensor – for developing NDVI-based topdress fertilizer N recommendations for dryland and irrigated spring wheat production in Montana, and 2. To determine whether sensor-based recommendations have to be adjusted depending on what N fertilizer source (liquid urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), or granular urea) is used. Three experiments: two dryland studies – at Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center, Conrad, MT, and in a producer’s field (Pat Wheeler, Valier, Pondera County), and one irrigated study at WARC will be established using the spring wheat variety Choteau. There will be a total of 9 treatments, each replicated 4 times. The preplant N rates of 0, 22, 45, 67, and 90 kg N ha-1 were applied as broadcasted urea. There were two reference treatments at each site – the unfertilized check plot (0 kg N ha-1), and the non-limiting N-rich reference (247 kg N ha-1). The NDVI readings from each treatment were collected at Feekes 5 growth stage. Topdress N rates (applied as urea, broadcasted or as UAN, foliar sprayed) were prescribed using NDVI values and three algorithms experimentally developed for spring wheat. Spring wheat grain yield, grain protein content, N uptake and N use efficiency (NUE) data will be analyzed to determine whether there were statistically significant differences depending on what sensor was used to make fertilizer N recommendations. Many of the new precision sensing technologies currently on the market are very expensive and represent a costly investment for crop producers that wish to adopt them. Thus, this study will provide valuable information on feasibility of sensor-based technologies for Montana wheat varieties and growing conditions.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Agronomic Production Systems
See more from this Session: General Sensor-Based Nutrient Management: II

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