Keith Mount Liming

Variable Rate Seed

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Variable rate seed can help to contribute towards a more uniform yield once known management zones are in place. With the use of GPS these zones can be more intensively managed giving the maximum potential to improve yields. Soil sampling is less intensive than the GPS grid option but allows you to sample soil type zones individually, taking a minimum of 16 cores from each zone. With sample points GPS logged this will give you the data to return to these exact locations again and again meaning sample data will be more comparable and will have greatly improved traceability. Another advantage with EC scanning is that it is a ‘once only’ operation. Soil types do not move so your original maps will be virtually future proof.

Using an EM38 Scanner towed behind an ATV we can map variations of soil types within a single field. We take 2 measurements up to 1m deep to determine soil types and soil texture. These can then be divided into management zones for more targeted input decisions. Zones can be used to manage variable seed rates, soil sampling areas, targeting of organic and inorganic fertilisers as well as water management.

The two maps below show variation in soil types within a single field. The image on the left shows the actual route of the scanner, driven at 12m intervals with each dot representing an EC depth reading. The contoured image on the right shows the management zones within the field that can be used to vary the amount of seed drilled in each zone as well as zones that can be used for soil sampling for variable application of phosphate and potash. This data is then uploaded into the tractor cab and with the use of a controller, more precise drilling or fertiliser applications can be carried out.

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