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 AS  Vol.10 No.9 , September 2019
Soil Clinics: Farmers Teaching Smart-Farming to Farmers
Abstract: In Thailand, the site-specific nutrient management technology, known as “Tailor-made Fertilizer Technology (TFT)”, for rice, maize and sugarcane in the Northeastern region was developed between 1997-2007, using the concepts of precision agriculture together with an approach of building capacity of small farmers. TFT, also called Smart-farming, comprises four components, namely 1) soil series identification, 2) N-P-K testing by soil test kit, 3) fertilizer recommendations using decision-aids and a simplified version of a complex model and 4) farmer empowerment. The benefit of TFT at the rice field of the Huay Kamin chairman farmer group was one example, the technology has been disseminated to the 80 members with a total planting area of about 320 ha. The results revealed chemical fertilizer reduction of 69%, and rice yield increased some 10% - 20% with the improved fertilizer application method. The farmers were encouraged to establish “Soil Clinics” in their communities. In a Soil Clinic, designated and trained farmer leaders analyze soil samples for member farmers and provide TFT recommendations while providing access to fertilizer materials available for sale at competitive prices. At present, there are about 70 soil clinics in 20 provinces with the support of many government and private sectors.
Cite this paper: Wongmaneeroj, A. , Pitakdantham, R. , Thawornpruek, S. , Verapattananirund, P. , Yost, R. and Attanandana, T. (2019) Soil Clinics: Farmers Teaching Smart-Farming to Farmers. Agricultural Sciences, 10, 1194-1205. doi: 10.4236/as.2019.109089.
References

[1]   Office of Agricultural Economics (2016) Agricultural Statistics of Thailand.

[2]   Attanandana, T., Yost, R. and Verapattananirund, P. (2007) Empowering Farmer Leaders to Acquire and Practice Site-Specific Nutrient Management Technology. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 30, 87-104.
https://doi.org/10.1300/J064v30n01_08

[3]   Attanandana, T., Verapattananirund, P. and Yost, R. (2008) Refining and Disseminating Site-Specific Nutrient Management Technology in Thailand. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 28, 291-297.
https://doi.org/10.1051/agro:2008006

[4]   Boonsompopphan, B., Vearasilp, T., Yost, R.S. and Attanandana, T. (2008) Field Identification of Soil Series: Indexing and Retrieving Soil Information while Sharing Experience and Knowledge. Soil Science, 173, 736-744.
https://doi.org/10.1097/SS.0b013e31818939cf

[5]   Matichon Newspaper (Thailand) (2017) Department of Agricultural Extension Recommended Farmers Use Chemical Fertilizers Based on Soil Analysis to Reduce Production Cost and to Increase Crop Yield. January 6, 2017.

 
 
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