Variable Rate Application

Published: 21 Feb 2012

Variable Rate Application Fact Sheet

Make Variable Rate Application Pay

Variable-rate application (VRA) of some inputs delivers cost benefits and improved yields. Before adopting VRA, growers can optimise their chances of better returns by running simple on-farm trials.

Key Points

  • When considering variable-rate application, question whether variation exists. The level and area of variability needs to be large enough to justify adoption.
  • Varying application rates can be done manually or by using precision agriculture equipment.
  • Obtain data to build a picture of the different management zones. Crop biomass, yield and soils information, plus a grower’s knowledge can be used to create zones.
  • When managing different zones within a paddock, diagnose the constraint or factor that limits crop yield. On-farm trials can help.
  • Prioritise lifting the yield potential of constrained soils with ameliorants before adjusting nutrient inputs.
  • The return from varying rates can change from season to season.
  • Keep on-farm trials simple: stick to one or two treatment differences and make the size difference between treatment rates large. Consider your equipment capability in the trial design.

Want to link to this publication?

Use www.grdc.com.au/FS-VariableRateApplication to ensure your link remains current and up-to-date!

Region National

Download PDF

Table of contents

Region: National