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Field Diagnosis of Soil Conditions in Small Holder Farms: Some Thai experience Russell Yost 1, Tasnee Attanandana 2, Prateep Verapattananirund 3, Sahaschai.

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Presentation on theme: "Field Diagnosis of Soil Conditions in Small Holder Farms: Some Thai experience Russell Yost 1, Tasnee Attanandana 2, Prateep Verapattananirund 3, Sahaschai."— Presentation transcript:

1 Field Diagnosis of Soil Conditions in Small Holder Farms: Some Thai experience Russell Yost 1, Tasnee Attanandana 2, Prateep Verapattananirund 3, Sahaschai Kongton 4, Roongroj Pitukdantham 2 1 University of Hawai`i at Manoa 2 Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand 3 Pan-Group, Bangkok, Thailand 4 Department of Land Development, Bangkok, Thailand

2 Challenges of small farms in Thailand: Farms are quite small (3.2 – 6.4 ha) Large variation in soil orders: Oxisols, Ultisols, Alfisols, Mollisols. Can the attractive concepts of precision agriculture be applied to such small farms? Right amounts of the right nutrient at the right time to the right crop at the right place?

3 “Tailor-made Fertilization” “Tailor-made” fertilization was comprised of four modules/steps: 1. Field identification of soil series (5 field observable criteria) 2. Soil test kit analysis of field soil 3. Fertilizer recommendations with computer- based decision-aids 4. Farmer empowerment – people-centered development, interactive learning, farmer networking

4 1. Field Identification of Soils Soil series were identified based on 5 field observable criteria; soil color, soil texture, depth, stoniness, and soil pH. Potentially uniquely identifying 324 soils. Farmers learned the names of their soils, using the names to share and compare experience

5 2. Soil test kit A soil test kit was developed and patented for use in tropical soils. Farmer leaders learned to use the kit and trained other farmers

6 3. Computer-based Decision-aid Decision-aid structure - nutrient management: 3.1 Diagnosis – What is missing / deficient? 3.2 Prediction – How much of what is needed? 3.3 Economic Analysis – It is economic to make the predicted fertilizer application? 3.4 Recommendation – Summarize the information in a form usable by the grower / producer. This structure can be implemented on a computer and shared with others as software (Phosphorus Decision Support System).

7 4. Farmer leaders teaching farmers

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9 Comparison of fertilizer cost and maize yield using tailor-made fertilizer and farmer’s practice FarmerTailor-made fertilizer technology Farmer’s practice Fertilizer cost (US$/ha) Yield (kg/ha)Fertilizer cost (US$/ha) Yield (kg/ha) Kampan20011, ,744 Jiradet2007, ,938 Boonkham1719, ,344 Tien20011, ,594 average192.89, ,405

10 Economic Benefit – Tailor Made Fertilizer Recommendations

11 Soil testing by Soil Test Kit in Africa

12 Farmers training on Tailor-made fertilizer technology

13 Farmers training on Tailor-made fertilizer technology (cont.)

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17 Farmers training on Tailor-made fertilizer technology

18 Demonstration of soil testing to students and farmers

19 Soil clinic

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21 Using the Thai test kit to test the soil before fertilizer application at the soil clinic

22 Field Diagnosis of Small Holder Agriculture -- Some Thai Experience Attractive features of Precision Agriculture were adapted to small farm conditions –Soil identification, Diagnosis, Prediction, Economic Solutions to nutrient limitations to crop production –Farmer leaders were identified, contrasting with “Leading farmers”

23 Soil testing by Soil Test Kit in Africa

24 Collecting soils for diagnosis

25 Diagnostic Information: Field testing a diagnosis in the Philippines: Is there an economic response or not?

26 Example Implementation of the Structure of Nutrient Management: (Phosphorus Decision Support System)

27 Awards 2009 Outstanding technologist (Science and technology Promotion Foundation) 2011 Outstanding research (Thailand Research Fund) 2012 Thai Senate acknowledgement award (science for excellence) “Tailor-made fertilizer technology for maize, rice and sugarcane

28 Conclusions Nutrient Management for small holder farms: –Field identification of soil – soils can have names! –Field testing of soil pH, N, P, and K –Decision-aids Diagnosis – What is missing / deficient? Prediction – How much of what is needed? Economic Analysis – It is economic to make the change? Recommendation – Summarize the information in a form understandable by the grower / producer. –Farmer empowerment – Farmer Leaders, farmer networking –Soil clinic establishment-sustainable of the technology by farmers in the community


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