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Open AccessArticle

Integration of Soil Electrical Conductivity and Indices Obtained through Satellite Imagery for Differential Management of Pasture Fertilization

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ICAAM, Departamento de Engenharia Rural, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, P.O. Box 94, Évora 7002-554, Portugal
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Agroinsider Lda. (spin-off da Universidade de Évora), PITE, R. Circular Norte, NERE, Sala 18, 7005-841 Évora, Portugal
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ICAAM, Departamento de Fitotecnia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, P.O. Box 94, Évora 7002-554, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
AgriEngineering 2019, 1(4), 567-585; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering1040041
Received: 20 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 10th Iberian Agroengineering Congress)
Dryland pastures in the Alentejo region, located in the south of Portugal, normally occupy soils that have low fertility but, simultaneously, important spatial variability. Rational application of fertilizers requires knowledge of spatial variability of soil characteristics and crop response, which reinforces the interest of technologies that facilitates the identification of homogeneous management zones (HMZ). In this work, a pasture field of about 25 ha, integrated in the Montado mixed ecosystem (agro-silvo-pastoral), was monitored. Surveys of apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) were carried out in November 2017 and October 2018 with a Veris 2000 XA contact sensor. A total of 24 sampling points (30 × 30 m) were established in tree-free zones to allow readings of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference water index (NDWI). Historical time series of these indices were obtained from satellite imagery (Sentinel-2) in winter and spring 2017 and 2018. Three zones with different potential productivity were defined based on the results obtained in terms of spatial variability and temporal stability of the measured parameters. These are the basis for the elaboration of differentiated prescription maps of fertilizers with variable application rate technology, taking into account the variability of soil characteristics and pasture development, contributing to the sustainability of this ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: pastures; spatial variability; temporal stability; ECa; NDVI; NDWI; management zones; decision making pastures; spatial variability; temporal stability; ECa; NDVI; NDWI; management zones; decision making
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Serrano, J.; Shahidian, S.; Marques da Silva, J.; Paixão, L.; Calado, J.; Carvalho, M. Integration of Soil Electrical Conductivity and Indices Obtained through Satellite Imagery for Differential Management of Pasture Fertilization. AgriEngineering 2019, 1, 567-585.

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