Proximal sensing represents a growing avenue for precision fertilization and crop growth monitoring. In the last decade, precision agriculture technology has become affordable in many countries; Global Positioning Systems for automatic guidance instruments and proximal sensors can be used to guide the distribution of nutrients such as nitrogen (N) fertilization using real-time applications. A two-year field experiment (2017–2018) was carried out to quantify maize yield in response to variable rate (VR) N distribution, which was determined with a proximal vigour sensor, as an alternative to a fixed rate (FR) in a cereal-livestock farm located in the Po valley (northern Italy). The amount of N distributed for the FR (140 kg N ha−1) was calculated according to the crop requirement and the regional regulation: ±30% of the FR rate was applied in the VR treatment according to the Vigour S-index calculated on-the-go from the CropSpec sensor. The two treatments of N fertilization did not result in a significant difference in yield in both years. The findings suggest that the application of VR is more economically profitable than the FR application rate, especially under the hypothesis of VR application at a farm scale. The outcome of the experiment suggests that VR is a viable and profitable technique that can be easily applied at the farm level by adopting proximal sensors to detect the actual crop N requirement prior to stem elongation. Besides the economic benefits, the VR approach can be regarded as a sustainable practice that meets the current European Common Agricultural Policy.

Reducing topdressing N fertilization with variable rates does not reduce maize yield / C. Schillaci, T. Tadiello, M. Acutis, A. Perego. - In: SUSTAINABILITY. - ISSN 2071-1050. - 13:14(2021 Jul 19), pp. 8059.1-8059.14. [10.3390/su13148059]

Reducing topdressing N fertilization with variable rates does not reduce maize yield

C. Schillaci
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
T. Tadiello
Secondo
Software
;
M. Acutis
Penultimo
Conceptualization
;
A. Perego
Ultimo
Supervision
2021

Abstract

Proximal sensing represents a growing avenue for precision fertilization and crop growth monitoring. In the last decade, precision agriculture technology has become affordable in many countries; Global Positioning Systems for automatic guidance instruments and proximal sensors can be used to guide the distribution of nutrients such as nitrogen (N) fertilization using real-time applications. A two-year field experiment (2017–2018) was carried out to quantify maize yield in response to variable rate (VR) N distribution, which was determined with a proximal vigour sensor, as an alternative to a fixed rate (FR) in a cereal-livestock farm located in the Po valley (northern Italy). The amount of N distributed for the FR (140 kg N ha−1) was calculated according to the crop requirement and the regional regulation: ±30% of the FR rate was applied in the VR treatment according to the Vigour S-index calculated on-the-go from the CropSpec sensor. The two treatments of N fertilization did not result in a significant difference in yield in both years. The findings suggest that the application of VR is more economically profitable than the FR application rate, especially under the hypothesis of VR application at a farm scale. The outcome of the experiment suggests that VR is a viable and profitable technique that can be easily applied at the farm level by adopting proximal sensors to detect the actual crop N requirement prior to stem elongation. Besides the economic benefits, the VR approach can be regarded as a sustainable practice that meets the current European Common Agricultural Policy.
maize; nitrogen fertilization; organic fertilizers; proximal sensing; variable rate
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee
   Development of Integrated Web-Based Land Decision Support System Aiming Towards the Implementation of Policies for Agriculture and Environment (LANDSUPPORT)
   LANDSUPPORT
   EUROPEAN COMMISSION
   H2020
   774234
19-lug-2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/895906
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