Developing a field's fertilizer prescription as a part of a site-specific nutrient management plan can be one of the more costly tasks undertaken. Those costs are traditionally associated with gathering of a number of plant and/or soil samples, their testing, as well as acquiring and applying amendments. Soil sample analysis is particularly important for traditional phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and soil acidity (pH) management. Soil sampling requires skill and time, time that may be in short supply when crop harvest is to be soon followed by establishment of a succeeding crop. Soil test results are not always timely, further delaying nutrient management plan development. Due to the expense, grid soil sampling is often only done every 3 to 5 years, which raises the question of how much fertilizer is to be applied between soil sampling events. Other site-specific technologies, especially the yield maps generated with spatially referenced yield monitoring, have been proposed to resolve these problems.

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We thank the CSRS Special Grants Program for their financial support of this work as a component of a larger project on the spatial analysis of soil fertility, crop responses and probabilistic decision making in the landscape.

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