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Title: Evaluation of DUALEM, OptRx and Grassmaster II sensors for monitoring the spatial variability and the temporal stability of a Mediterranean pasture
Authors: Serrano, João
Shahidian, Shakib
Marques da Silva, José
Sales-Baptista, Elvira
Oliveira, Isabel
Pereira, Alfredo
Castro, José
Keywords: pasture productivity
spatial variability
temporal stability
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Serrano, J., Shahidian, S., Marques da Silva, J., Sales-Baptista, E., Oliveira, I., Pereira, A., Castro, J., Santana, J., Sobral, P. (2016). Evaluation of DUALEM, OptRx and Grassmaster II sensors for monitoring the spatial variability and the temporal stability of a Mediterranean pasture. Poster apresentado no World Congress Silvo-Pastoral Systems, University of Évora, Portugal, 27-30 September 2016.
Abstract: Site-specific management (SSM) is a form of precision agriculture whereby decisions on resource application and agronomic practices are improved to better match soil and crop requirements as they vary in the field. SSM enables the identification of regions (homogeneous management zones) within the area delimited by field boundaries. These subfield regions constitute areas that have similar permanent characteristics. Traditional soil and pasture sampling and the necessary laboratory analysis are time-consuming, labour-intensive and cost prohibitive, not viable from a SSM perspective because it needs a large number of soil and pasture samples in order to achieve a good representation of soil properties, nutrient levels and pasture quality and productivity. The main objective of this work was to evaluate technologies which have potential for monitoring aspects related to spatial and temporal variability of soil nutrients and pasture green and dry matter yield (respectively, GM and DM, in kg/ha) and support to decision making for the farmer. Three types of sensors were evaluated in a 7ha pasture experimental field: an electromagnetic induction sensor (“DUALEM 1S”, which measures the soil apparent electrical conductivity, ECa), an active optical sensor ("OptRx®", which measures the NDVI, “Normalized Difference Vegetation Index”) and a capacitance probe ("GrassMaster II" which estimates plant mass). The results indicate the possibility of using a soil electrical conductivity probe as, probably, the best tool for monitoring not only some of the characteristics of the soil, but also those of the pasture, which could represent an important help in simplifying the process of sampling and support SSM decision making, in precision agriculture projects. On the other hand, the significant and very strong correlations obtained between capacitance and NDVI and between any of these parameters and the pasture productivity shows the potential of these tools for monitoring the evolution of spatial and temporal patterns of the vegetative growth of biodiverse pasture, for identifying different plant species and variability in pasture yield in Alentejo dry-land farming systems. These results are relevant for the selection of an adequate sensing system for a particular application and open new perspectives for other works that would allow the testing, calibration and validation of the sensors in a wider range of pasture production conditions, namely the extraordinary diversity of botanical species that are characteristic of the Mediterranean region at the different periods of the year.
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:ERU - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais
MED - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais

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