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Mapping Soil Fertility at Different Scales to Support Sustainable Brazilian Agriculture

Authors: Rachel Bardy Prado, Vinícius de Melo Benites, José Carlos Polidoro, Carlos Eduardo Gonçalves, Alexey Naumov


Most agricultural crops cultivated in Brazil are highly nutrient demanding. Brazilian soils are generally acidic with low base saturation and available nutrients. Demand for fertilizer application has increased because the national agricultural sector expansion. To improve productivity without environmental impact, there is the need for the utilization of novel procedures and techniques to optimize fertilizer application. This includes the digital soil mapping and GIS application applied to mapping in different scales. This paper is based on research, realized during 2005 to 2010 by Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA) and its partners. The purpose was to map soil fertility in national and regional scales. A soil profile data set in national scale (1:5,000,000) was constructed from the soil archives of Embrapa Soils, Rio de Janeiro and in the regional scale (1:250,000) from COMIGO Cooperative soil data set, Rio Verde, Brazil. The mapping was doing using ArcGIS 9.1 tools from ESRI.

Keywords: Agricultural Sustainability, GIS, fertilizer optimization, soil attributes

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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