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The Importance and Value of Soil Information

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  021093,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.11241) @2002
Authors:   John R. Samuelson, Mark Stelford, Daniel J. Rooney
Keywords:   soil information, soil mapping, soil value, soil sensors

Soil information has been used for centuries to manage and understand crop growth. Growers have used soil information to guide their decisions since the first plow was put in the ground. The quality, quantity, type, and location of soil information needed for site-specific management varies as a function of intended use. Soil maps must be accurate both in terms of information and location if they are to be used in agriculture. The natural heterogeneity of most soils means that accurate characterization requires a large number of observations. The high cost associated with collecting soil information at a large scale (high resolution) using standard tools and techniques is usually cost and time prohibitive. New technology and methodologies can collect information at a rate, resolution, and format that makes it feasible to map soil at a scale useful for variable rate technology, crop and hydrological models, nutrient and water budgeting, and other precision monitoring and management applications.

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