Assessing the Sensitivity of Site-Specific Lime and Gypsum Recommendations to Soil Sampling Techniques and Spatial Density of Data Collection in Australian Agriculture: A Pedometric Approach

Article


Roberton, Stirling, Bennett, John McL., Lobsey, Craig R. and Bishop, Thomas F. A.. 2020. "Assessing the Sensitivity of Site-Specific Lime and Gypsum Recommendations to Soil Sampling Techniques and Spatial Density of Data Collection in Australian Agriculture: A Pedometric Approach ." Agronomy. 10 (11), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111676
Article Title

Assessing the Sensitivity of Site-Specific Lime and Gypsum Recommendations to Soil Sampling Techniques and Spatial Density of Data Collection in Australian Agriculture: A Pedometric Approach

ERA Journal ID200126
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRoberton, Stirling, Bennett, John McL., Lobsey, Craig R. and Bishop, Thomas F. A.
Journal TitleAgronomy
Journal Citation10 (11), pp. 1-18
Article Number1676
Number of Pages18
Year2020
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN2073-4395
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111676
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4395/10/11/1676
Abstract

There is currently limited understanding surrounding the spatial accuracy of soil amelioration advice as a function of sampling density at the sub‐field scale. Consequently, soil‐based decisions are often made using a data limiting approach, as the value proposition of soil data collection has not been well described. The work presented here investigates the spatial errors of gypsum and lime recommendations based on industry‐standard blanket‐rate and zone‐based variable rate application, as well as the more advanced pedometric approaches – ordinary kriging (OK) and regression kriging (RK). All methods were tested at sampling densities between 0.1–3 samples/ha for a 108 ha broadacre site in central NSW, Australia. Whilst previous work has tested the effect of sampling density on the spatial predictive performance of OK and RK, here we assess prediction accuracy as the error associated with soil management decisions based on their results (i.e., the over‐ and under‐application error of gypsum and lime applications) in conjunction with the RMSE of prediction for soil pH and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP). The uncertainty of each method is also tested to observe the effect of random initialisation on predictive performance. Results indicated that RK provided superior spatial predictions across all sampling densities for the application of gypsum and lime, with a blanket‐rate application providing the worse results, with over‐ and under‐application errors exceeding 200 t and 300 t respectively for 40–60 cm treatment for the entire field. Interestingly, the spatial accuracy of amendment application increased to a sampling density of 0.5 samples/ha for RK, with minimal improvement thereafter, suggesting that meaningful soil amelioration advice can be attained proximal to this density.

KeywordsDigital soil mapping; Precision agriculture; Sampling density; Soil amelioration; Soil constraints; Variable‐rate
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300206. Agricultural spatial analysis and modelling
FunderGrains Research and Development Corporation
Byline AffiliationsCentre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (Operations)
School of Engineering
University of Sydney
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