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GPS Soil Sampling

Agriculture Tecnology

The importance of agriculture in income generation as well as in the feeding of the booming world population cannot be overemphasized. Crucial to efficient agriculture is soil sampling which is the first step in generating accurate field information on which to base fertilizer decisions and also in the monitoring of soil nutrient.

Global Positioning System (GPS) references ground position based on satellite signals. This system of soil sampling is particularly preferred as it is done based on information gotten from spatial data and attributes. That it is information-based also means that resources are better managed and allocated and the area of soil to be sampled will be adequately representative of the whole area.

The processes involved in this sampling method include:

  1. Boundary mapping that must be done before the sampling. This designated boundary may be a result of information or the far owners might state the area they want samples.

  2. The sampling itself. This is done either by:

    Management zone soil sampling: here, the field is divided into management zones. This division is based on soil type, crop lines and internal features. Each of these zones are usually sampled at multiple core sites.

    Smart zones: in this case, the division is based on features such as those for the management zone as well as features like topography and past yield data.

    Grid soil sampling: this makes use of grids to determine where the soil sample site will be.

  3. The coordinates and precise location of all soil sampled here will be known. This comes in handy because inferences made or future actions to be taken can then be done with respect to precise location.

  4. The samples are then taken to the laboratory for analysis.

  5. The results of these analyses can then be used to make the field’s operations more efficient.