Precision Agriculture to Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency in Brazil

By Rodrigo Trevisan 

As I mentioned in my last article, the IPNI Brazil Symposium on Precision Agriculture was held in early October in Goiânia, Goiás, in central western Brazil. Attendees were mainly service providers, crop consultants, soil analysis laboratories, fertilizer companies, agricultural machinery companies, researchers, and farmers. Presentations were made by important precision ag researchers from Brazil, U.S., and Mexico, with a focus on fertilizer best management practices.

Several key concepts for the adoption of precision agriculture were recalled and discussed. The topic that generated the most controversy was grid soil sampling, mainly due to the concerns of the minimum density of points required to efficiently characterize the spatial variability of an area. The commonly adopted standard of one point for every 3 to 5 hectares is not always sufficient for this. Dense sampling schemas have little acceptance due to higher costs. The use of remote and proximal sensors for the collection of dense auxiliary data is still marginally adopted. The main alternatives discussed were the use of management zones or sampling in regular cells, without the use of interpolation. This is especially the case when the total number of points is small, less than about 60, due to small areas or low sampling density. One of the limiting factors for the adoption of management zones in Brazil is the lack of good quality yield maps. It is estimated that this important data source is being collected in less than 1% of the grain production area in Brazil.

Picture from the closing session at IPNI Brazil Symposium on Precision Agriculture. Professor Jose Paulo Molin presented a historical review of precision agriculture development in Brazil and future trends.

The management practices to take advantage of variability were also discussed. It was a consensus that there is an urgent need for agronomic knowledge to evolve to enable more complete and assertive recommendations. One example of research that was presented is the use of cover crops planted at different densities in each management zone according to the main problem to be overcome. Understanding the relationship between soil and relief attributes, such as water retention capacity and crop response to fertilizers, has also been shown to be important for generating prescriptions. One of the tools that researchers and farmers are using to advance in this subject is the use of on-farm trials in each management zone. Plant population and fertilizer rates have been the most commonly addressed subjects through this technique. This will also be one of the topics discussed at the Seminar of Precision Agriculture, which will be held in Piracicaba – SP in November.

The importance of training and educating people in precision agriculture was also mentioned by many speakers. After approximately 20 years of precision agriculture use in Brazil, less than 5% of undergraduate courses in Agronomy or Agricultural Engineering have incorporated precision agriculture as a subject in their academic curriculum. Despite the existence of many short-term and even postgraduate courses, many undergraduates do not even have the chance to be formally introduced to important concepts of precision agriculture. The Brazilian Association of Precision Agriculture (AsBraAP), created last year, should add efforts to promote the education of precision agriculture and improve the qualification of professionals in related fields. Another important action of AsBraAP is to promote the Brazilian Congress of Precision Agriculture. The CONBAP 2018 was officially launched during the event and will take place next year in Curitiba – Paraná in October.

The IPNI Brazil Symposium on Precision Agriculture presented excellent technical quality and a good environment for learning and professional networking. More than that, it reinforced the importance of generating and disseminating good knowledge. Precision agriculture is an excellent tool to improve nutrients use efficiency and a lot of people are coming together to advance with this technology in Brazil and worldwide.

 

Editor’s Note: Rodrigo Trevisan is Coordinator of Precision Agriculture at Terra Santa Agro (www.terrasantaagro.com), responsible for the development of projects related to precision agriculture in more than 180,000 hectares cultivated with soybean, corn and cotton. 

See the original article here.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Americas

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Closes Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Plans Closing of Monsanto Acquisition on June 7

Bayer plans to complete the acquisition of Monsanto on June 7, following the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory

Americas

Major GNSS Project to Boost Potential for ‘Satellite’ Farming in Brazil

The University of Nottingham is working with Brazilian and EU partners to solve atmospheric interference problems that hamper satellite-based positioning

Americas

Valagro to Build First U.S. Manufacturing Plant for Biostimulants

The 65,000-square-foot Orangeburg County, South Carolina facility is expected to come online in the third quarter of 2019.

Agrichemicals

China Plant Shutdowns Hurt Helm Results

The company said its Crop Protection business was faced with markets exhibiting weak growth momentum overall in 2017.

Americas

Latin American Ag Sector Sees Boon from Ties with China

Latin America’s agricultural sector, which over the past decade has benefited from rising consumer demand in China, is expected to

Brazil-Soybean-field
Americas

Embrapa, Corteva Agriscience Sign Agreement to Enhance the Sustainability, Competitiveness of Brazilian Farming

Embrapa, the research arm of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, and Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont,

Americas

Highway Equipment Expands New Leader into Brazil

Highway Equipment Company (HECO), the manufacturer of New Leader crop nutrient applicators, recently announced its expansion into Brazil. The new

Agrichemicals

Sumitomo Launches Fungicide for Bananas

Rapid adoption of Powmyl is expected for Black Sigatoka control programs on banana plantations throughout Latin America.

Americas

STK, BASF in Deal to Expand Distribution in Brazil

STK will grant BASF exclusive rights to maket and sell the biological fungicide bactericide in the country.

Americas

Marrone Bio Innovations Enters Partnership with Israel’s Lidorr

Lidorr Chemicals Ltd., will develop and market three of MBI's products in Israel.

Americas

ADAMA to Launch Soybean Fungicide in Brazil

Global crop protection company ADAMA has announced that is ready to launch its distinctive fungicide, CRONNOS, in Brazil, the world’s

Americas

U.S. Farm Bill Draft Defines Plant Biostimulants for First Time

Definition is a critical step in the legislative process to support the development of new sustainable technologies for agriculture and U.S. farmers.

Agrichemicals

Talking Dicamba: Q&A with Heartland Co-Op’s Dave Coppess

Dave Coppess, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, Iowa, chats about the company’s experience with dicamba-resistant cropping systems.

Americas

Syngenta Acquires Abbott & Cobb

Syngenta announced it agreed to acquire Abbott & Cobb, a U.S.-owned independent breeder, producer, and marketer of vegetable seeds.

Americas

In Trade War, U.S. Soy May Be Safe – Rabobank

As the trade dispute between China and the United States intensifies, China's dependency on U.S. soybeans may limit its ability to set tariffs, a new Rabobank report says.

Americas

Ag Software Firm Agrian Expands to Brazil

Since beginning in 2004 as a cloud-based record keeping system, Agrian has quickly expanded its digital capabilities to include a platform approach to help agronomists, growers, retailers, and food processors work collaboratively within one system.

Americas

Rise of Robotics: Q&A with Naïo Technologies CEO

One to watch in the growing agribotics niche is Naïo Technologies out of Toulouse, France.

Agrichemicals

U.S. Approves Bayer-Monsanto Merger – WSJ

The U.S. Justice Department has approved Bayer AG’s acquisition of Monsanto Co. after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets to secure government antitrust approval.

Latest News

Agrichemicals

BASF Registers New Active in India, Australia

The company anticipates further registrations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and Argentina.

Asia

Valagro Launches Fertilizer Line in China

Valagro, an Italian supplier of biostimulants and other specialty nutrients, said it launched its water-soluble fertilizers, Master Supreme, to the Chinese market.

Agrichemicals

As Agchem Complexity Grows, Specialists Take Off Some of the Heat

Chemical companies increasingly are using specialist suppliers to outsource the process development and production of complex new molecules.

Precision Ag

Indigo Touts ‘New Approach to Agricultural R&D’

Indigo Research Partners uses a network of more than 50 of the largest U.S. growers to gather over a trillion data points daily from sensors, drones, weather stations, and other technologies.

Genetics

Scientists Introduce Simpler, Faster CRISPR

Gene editing just got easier, thanks to an international team of researchers.