Developing an app to estimate pasture fertiliser application on dairy farms

Author: Safa, Majeed; Maxwell, Thomas M. R.; Doscher, Crile

Date: 2020-03

Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management

Type: Journal article

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Lincoln University


Estimating fertiliser application has always been one the main issues on farm. Optimum fertiliser application depends on many factors, which makes it a time-consuming and expensive process. This article discusses a Lincoln University project that aims to estimate real-time nitrogen application with minimum field sampling and cost. New Zealand is a world leader in pasture-based dairy production, with its associated advantages and challenges. Due to environmental concerns, economic constraints and farm system efficiency expectations, managing nitrogen flow on dairy farms is critically important. Leaching of nitrate-nitrogen (NO₃- –N) is politically the most significant challenge facing the future viability (environmental and possibly economic) of grazed dairy farms. Also, imported nitrogen fertiliser costs New Zealand farmers around USD400 million per year. Dairy farmers in this country use around 63% of the total nitrogen fertiliser, which is about 271,000 tonnes.

Subjects: nitrogen-nitrate leaching, nitrogen, artificial neural network (ANN) model, pasture, fertiliser application, thermal imaging, app prototype, 070101 Agricultural Land Management, 079902 Fertilisers and Agrochemicals (incl. Application), 099901 Agricultural Engineering, 0702 Animal Production

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