Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 323–336 | Cite as

A GIS-based fertilizer decision support system for farmers in Northeast China: a case study at Tong-le village

  • Y. W. Xie
  • J. Y. Yang
  • S. L. Du
  • J. Zhao
  • Y. Li
  • E. C. Huffman
Original Article


Application of computer technology such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to help farmers optimize fertilization, improve soil fertility and protect soil from erosion is currently of considerable interest as a topic of research. The objective of this study was to develop a GIS-based software package that can be used to help farmers select fertilizer application rates and manage soil nutrients. The ease of integration and programming in current digital spatial technology made it feasible to combine a fertilization model with a GIS platform to develop a GIS-based Fertilizer Decision Support System (FDSS) that enables farmers to determine precise fertilizer recommendations through an interactive computer interface. This paper outlines the development and test application of a GIS-based FDSS at Tong-le Village of Baiquan county, Heilongjiang province of Northeast China. The FDSS uses a farm field as the base mapping unit and incorporates data from field samples, farmer surveys and remote sensing, as well as expert knowledge in agriculture, soil science and computer science to develop a spatial database and soil/crop management system. The FDSS is a crop fertilization and management software developed on the SuperMap platform, and will help farmers and managers of agricultural production units to increase their fertilizer utilization efficiency, and thus their net profit.


Web based GIS Soil fertility Fertilizer recommendation Fertilizer decision support system Precision agriculture 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of K.C. Wong Education Foundation, Hong Kong and the program of National Science and Technology Infrastructure Program (2005DKA32300).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mollisols Agroecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and AgroecologyChinese Academy of SciencesHarbinChina
  2. 2.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaGreenhouse and Processing Crops Research CentreHarrowCanada
  3. 3.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaEastern Cereal and Oilseeds Research CentreOttawaCanada

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