ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0183.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: precision agriculture; active crop canopy sensors; proximal remote sensing; variable rate fertilization
Online: 12 October 2021 (12:56:37 CEST)
Variable nitrogen(N) rate fertilization based on remote sensing is challenging for cotton production fields, but active crop canopy sensors (ACS) appear as an alternative to make this practical on farm since they can be used at night as well. The crop spatial variability in inherent in crop production in general, and not on-the-go solutions can be used with this type of active sensing technologies. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of two vegetation indices to identify the N requirement variability for cotton plants and to develop prototype algorithms for topdressing nitrogen variable rate on commercial and experimental areas, using the N-sufficiency methodology based on virtual reference. The concept of virtual reference is to use a histogram to characterize the vegetation index of properly fertilized plants without establishing an N-rich plot as a reference strip. The experiment was conducted in strips with four different N rates (0, 45, 90 and 180 kgN ha-1) during the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 crop seasons in partnership with large cotton producers in Mato Grosso and also in experimental area of Embrapa Agrosilvopastoral. Two algorithms for variable rate nitrogen fertilization for cotton were developed, namely: 1) N recommendation algorithm for cotton in commercial production system: N rate (kg.N ha-1) = -234.79 ISN2 + 49,879 ISN + 195.15; R² = 0.97; and 2) for cotton grown in experimental area: N dose (kgN ha-1) = -174.73 ISN2 - 107.21 ISN + 306.78; R² = 0.94.