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Research is needed to compare the different techniques for developing site‐specific phosphorus (P) recommendations on a field‐wide basis. The objective of this study was to determine the impact different techniques for developing site‐specific P recommendation maps on yield and profitability. Enterprise analysis combined with a crop simulation model and detailed field characterization was used to estimate the value of spatial P information in a system where N was not limiting. The systems evaluated were continuous corn (Zea mays) and corn and soybean (Gfycine max) rotations where sampling and fertilizer applications were applied annually and semi‐annually, respectively. The sampling techniques tested were: (i) an unfertilized P control; (ii) whole field; (iii) whole field plus historic information (feedlot); (iv) landscape positions; (v) soil type; (vi) soil type plus historic information (feedlot); and (vii) 90‐m grid sampling. The finding of this study were based on soil samples collected from a 30 by 30‐m grid. The value of the spatial information was dependent on the crops response to P, the accuracy of the different sampling techniques, crop rotation, and the length of time between sampling dates. All of the sampling techniques produced different application maps. The recommendation map based on a single composite sample under fertilized 56.5% of the field. Increasing the sampling density reduced the percentage of under‐fertilized land. If corn had a low P response, then simulation/enterprise analysis indicated that applying P did not increased profits. For all scenarios tested: (i) the soil type + historic sampling approach had higher potential profits than the 90 m grid sampling approach; and (ii) there was no economic benefit associated with the 90‐m grid sampling. However, if research shows that amortization of sampling and analysis costs over 3 or 4 years is appropriate, then it may be possible to derive economic benefit from a 90‐m grid sampling. For a corn/soybean rotation, where fertilizer was applied when corn was planted and N and P was not applied to soybeans, enterprise/ simulation analysis (2.8 Mg ha‐1 soybean yield goal and a moderate P model) showed that soil + historic sampling approach increased profitability $3.74 ha‐1 when compared to the uniform P treatment.

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Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis





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Taylor and Francis


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