MAPPING VARIATIONS in crop canopy development from the sky could help growers save on fertiliser inputs, says a precision farming company.

Using satellite imagery to identify in-field variations in leaf area index will allow growers to vary fertiliser use with greater confidence, says SOYL”s Simon Griffin.

“Backward areas below the optimum LAI will get increased fertiliser to boost canopy development and yield and those areas ahead of the optimum LAI will have N fertiliser rates cut back.”

Results from trials suggest the new SOYL service could bring savings of up to 15/ha, he says.

“At 6/ha for three images, aimed to coincide with up to three N applications, it allows customers to benefit from variable N management,” says colleague Simon Parrington.

The latest precision farming technology, including working demonstrations, will be on show at Precision Farming 2005 on Mar 9 at Newark Showground, Notts.

Seminars at the event will address precision farming”s role in environmental, crop and financial mangement on the modern arable farm.

Further details and free tickets at www.farm-smart.co.uk/precision/index.asp