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PIC: Understanding in-field variation to boost yields

September 21, 2022  By Julienne Isaacs, for Potatoes in Canada

One of the four experimental fields used in the area of Kensington in P.E.I. Living Laboratory initiatives program of AAFC. Photo courtesy of Athyna Cambouris.

Every farmer knows that every field is different – and that there can be a great deal of difference within fields as well. Until recently, the tools to analyze these differences have been out of reach for many farmers.

Despite a growing body of research demonstrating in-field variation, fields are typically still managed on a field-by-field basis, which can mean both profit losses and negative impacts on the environment. But intensive soil sampling is expensive and time-consuming. Another approach is needed.

Athyna Cambouris is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Quebec City. She’s been studying applications of precision agriculture since 1996, when she implemented her first experiment on variable application of phosphorous and potassium in potatoes.


Precision agriculture technology has come a long way since the 1990s. These days, Cambouris is working on projects in Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island focused on delineating in-field management zones based on soil properties using ground-penetrating radar and soil electrical conductivity sensors, among other soil sensors. |READ MORE

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