Spatial variability and digital mapping of Zn content in soil and foliage of wheat producing area in district Jhelum-Pakistan

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Research Paper 01/03/2019
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Spatial variability and digital mapping of Zn content in soil and foliage of wheat producing area in district Jhelum-Pakistan

Ghulam Nabi, Humair Ahmed, Ijaz Ali, Shahid Maqsood Gill
Int. J. Biosci.14( 3), 72-81, March 2019.
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Evaluation of agricultural land management practices with reference to precision agriculture depends upon knowledge of soil spatial variability. This research work was carried out to illustrate the spatial heterogeneity of bioavailable and foliage Zn content in wheat fields of Jhelum which contributes most of the wheat producing area in Pothwar region of Pakistan. Soil samples were obtained from surface (0-15 cm) and subsurface (15-30 cm) from 90 selected (sparse) sites to cover the whole area for preparing precise digital maps. Coordinates were recorded using GPS receiver (Garminee-trex). Data were subjected to descriptive statistics to examine the central tendency of data. Geostatistical technique (semivariogram) was applied to compare the spatial dependence of the data sets. Digital maps classifying the surveyed area into differential nutrient status zones were prepared by using ordinary kriging. Soils of the surveyed area were categorized as slightly to strongly alkaline and generally low in organic matter content. A widespread bioavailable and foliage Zn deficiency was observed in the surveyed area. Bioavailable Zn was found to be moderately (15-30 cm) to strongly spatial dependent (0-15 cm), while foliage Zn was moderately spatial dependent. Moderate to strong spatial dependence is considered as a pre-requisite for digital mapping. The results indicated a need for site specific Zn management keeping in view the soil heterogeneity.


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