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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 267378, 7 pages
Research Article

Small Scale Spatial Variability of Apparent Electrical Conductivity within a Paddy Field

1Smart Farming Technology Laboratory, Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 19 March 2009; Accepted 29 May 2009

Academic Editor: Amaresh K. Nayak

Copyright © 2009 W. Aimrun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Quick variability description is an important component for zone management practices. Precision farming requires topping up of only the nutrients that are lacking in the soil to attain the highest yield with the least input. The apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) sensor is a useful tool in mapping to identify areas of contrasting soil properties. In nonsaline soils, ECa is a substitute measurement for soil texture. It is directly related to both water holding capacity and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), which are key ingredients of productivity. This sensor measures the ECa across a field quickly and gives detailed soil features (one-second interval) with few operators. Hence, a dense sampling is possible and therefore a high-resolution ECa map can be produced. This study aims to characterize the variability of soil ECa within a Malaysian paddy field with respect to the spatial and seasonal variability. The study was conducted at Block C, Sawah Sempadan, Selangor, Malaysia, for three continuous seasons. Soil ECa was collected after harvesting period. The results showed that deep ECa visualized the pattern of the former river routes clearly as continuous lines (about 45 m width) at the northern and central regions of the study area. This exploration has shown different maps with higher contrast as compared to the existing soil series map for the study area. Seasonal variability test showed that the ECa that was acquired during rainy season (collected after harvest in December to January) has the highest value as compared to another season.