Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Precision Agriculture 2005
GROUND COVER PRECISION AGRICULTURE 13 Our current work is beginning to focus on comparing zones created with either geo-data or bio-data layers. If both are similar then the soilborne pathogen distri- bution is closely aligned with the physical features of the paddock. However, we expect that there will be differences between zones created by geo- and bio-data, and these differences could be useful for targeting pathogen "hot spots". The broader objective is to determine which combination of readily available data layers is going to be the most useful for mapping the spatial distribution of soilborne pathogens. Several paddocks have now been inten- sively sampled and tested for a broad range of soilborne pathogens. The pictures above, of a test site in a dune-swale paddock in the South Australian Mallee, show Rhizoctonia patches concentrated between the dunes in a barley crop (left) and the crop response in a small fumigated plot (right). WHAT IT MEANS Better understanding of distribution of soilborne diseases within paddocks will lead to more flexible farming systems through: 1. improved sampling protocols to assess soilborne disease risk. Targeting sam- pling at PA zones to assess potential dis- ease risk, and relating this to the respec- tive expected yield potential of each zone, will help producers select the most profitable crop/variety to grow. 2. diagnosis of low-yielding zones. Zone maps may help in targeting soil or plant samples to investigate emerging prob- lems, especially in areas where there are no other known subsoil constraints. 3. Variable Rate Technology. Information on pathogen levels within zones could be used to reassign inputs to lower risk zones. In high-yield zones specific treatments such as seed dressings may be targeted to reduce disease risks and increase the frequency of more profita- ble crops in the rotation. Where disease risks are low, producers can increase inputs with greater confidence. GRDC Precision Agriculture Initiative (SIP09) GRDC Research Code DAS00035 For more information: Dr John Heap, 08 8303 9444, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr Alan McKay, 08 8303 9375, email@example.com Rhizoctonia patches between sand dunes in a South Australian barley crop (left) and the crop response in a small fumigated plot. 'Where disease risks are low, producers can increase inputs with greater confidence'
GC Supplement - Nutrient Management 2006
GC Supplement - Grain Storage 2005