Principles and applications of topography in precision agriculture

Ahmed Harb Rabia, Jasmine Neupane, Zhe Lin, Katie Lewis, Guofeng Cao, Wenxuan Guo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Topographic variability is one of the main factors that affect soil properties and crop production. In this work, we reviewed the concept and significance of various topographic attributes and their influence on the factors contributing to crop growth and yield, including soil physical, hydraulic, chemical, and biological properties and nutrient distribution as affected by landscape positions. The effects of topography on soil properties and crop growth and yield depend on soil type and depth, climate, cropping system, and management practices. Accurate elevation data and its derived topographic attributes have broad applications in precision agriculture, including site-specific applications of seed, fertilizer, and water, management zone delineation, designing contours or terraces and precision leveling plans, and planning soil and water conservation programs for enhanced profitability. This work revealed the lack of research in application of secondary topographic attributes in agriculture and on-farm research in using topography in site-specific management of crop inputs. Interdisciplinary research efforts is suggested to enhance the understanding and promote application of topographic information in precision agriculture. Furthermore, there are needs to raise the awareness of producers to use the built-in real-time kinematic (RTK) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technologies to collect accurate three-dimensional data for site-specific management. In addition, this work suggested the need for user-friendly tools to help producers employ the collected topographic data to achieve precision agriculture goals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Agronomy
EditorsDonald L. Sparks
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)9780323988414
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Agronomy
ISSN (Print)0065-2113


  • Precision agriculture
  • Soil properties
  • Topographic attributes
  • Topography
  • Yield variability


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