How can I create, edit and export a Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map?

After you added your fields, you can create and export your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map by following the steps or videos below.


Please note for grassland: You can create VRA Maps for mown grass (not for grazed grass) mainly composed of ryegrass (Lolium sp.), fescue (Festuca sp.) and timothy (Phleum sp.) and with a clover content of no more than 5 % in the sward. However, we are already working on calibrating our algorithm for grass with higher clover content.


  1. Open Atfarm.
  2. Select your farm.
  3. Select your field.
  4. The field page opens. Click on GET RECOMMENDATION and choose VARIABLE-RATE APPLICATION MAPS.
  5. Select the biomass map date. Please use the latest cloud-free image.
  6. Select the growth stage of your crop for the date the biomass map image was taken.
  7. Click on CONTINUE.
  8. Enter target N rate, lower and upper limit, the fertiliser and the % N content.
  9. Click on GENERATE AUTOMATICALLY (calculation based on our N-Sensor vegetation index/optimised biomass map) or on CREATE MANUALLY to create your VRA map manually.
  10. If you chose to generate the map automatically, you now choose between zone and raster map. If you chose to create the VRA map manually, you can now adjust your field with the brush editor.
  11. Click on EXPORT when done.
  12. Your VRA map is now saved in Atfarm under your field. Choose between the displayed terminal export options and the export to our free Atfarm mobile app on your mobile device.
  13. Click on the download symbol next to the export options you have chosen.
  14. Your VRA map will now be saved as a .zip file to your computer/sent to the Atfarm mobile app on your mobile device.


You can export the VRA map directly after creating it or you can export it any time afterwards. You can find your saved VRA maps in the field view.


Now you can transfer your VRA map to your terminal.



AmaTron 3 Shapefile




AmaTron 4 Shapefile




IsoMatch Tellus PRO ISO-XML




RAUCH CCI 100 Shapefile




RAUCH CCI 1200 Shapefile




Trimble Shapefile





Why am I warned by the system that the satellite image is older than 5 days?


The Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps are created based on biomass images. The best practice is to create a map with a current image since it reflects the current status of the crop. Older images could potentially display biomass values that do not represent the current condition. When using old images, ensure that they reflect the current performance of the crop on the field.



Why do I need to select a growth stage?


We recommend a growth stage depending on the crop you choose. Our algorithm works based on thousands of samples and lab tests and adapts to the crop and growth stage.



Required information for creating VRA maps


The target N rate is the average nitrogen rate you want to apply on your field. It is used as the main input value for the algorithms. The satellite images provide information about the different nitrogen uptakes in the field, but they do not provide suitable absolute nitrogen values to work with. You can use the Yara N-Tester to determine the agronomically optimal N-amount for your next application.


The lower and upper limit are setting limits for the N-Sensor algorithm to provide the possibility to adjust it to your level of confidence.


Choose the fertiliser you want to apply on your field in a dropdown list. If your fertiliser is not in there, please read below.


The % N content expresses the content of nitrogen in 100 kg of fertiliser.



My fertiliser is not in the dropdown list


Which fertilisers are offered to select is based on your country. If your fertiliser should not be in the dropdown list, please select 'Other liquid fertilisers'/'Other solid fertilisers'. Then click on CREATE MANUALLY. Now you can manually draw the Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map.



Manually creating VRA maps with the brush editor


You can adjust and edit your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map with the brush editor and adjust fertilisation zones and amounts.


To adjust the fertilisation amount of each brush colour,  follow these steps:


  1. Click on the number below a certain brush colour.
  2. Change the number.
  3. Now the fertilisation amount of the brush colour is adjusted and all pixels of this colour will automatically be updated with the new nitrogen amount.


To change the fertilisation zones on your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map, follow these steps:


  1. Choose a brush colour with the nitrogen amount you want to apply to a certain part of your field by clicking on it.
  2. The brush is now enabled. Your cursor switched to the selected colour. To disenable the brush, click again on the brush colour.
  3. Click with the brush on the pixels on your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map you want to change.
  4. The colour of the specific pixel will change into the colour you chose.


Tip: You can zoom into the Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map with the plus-sign or with your mouse scroller to draw more accurately.



Cell size


The cell size refers to the spatial resolution of the pixels from the satellite data.



Zone map and raster map


If you created your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map automatically, you can choose between zone and raster map.



Zone map


If you create your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map as a zone map, the rates are clustered in areas of equal value. The gradations are created in 10 % steps. This makes it easier to use your spreaders that have +/- 10 % buttons. The zone map is best used for manual application or older terminals.



Raster map


If you create your Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map as a raster map, the rate is calculated per cell. Using the raster map will provide you maximum precision for top of the line equipment.



Why are there gaps between the pixels of the VRA map? Why are there application pixels outside the field boundaries?


Every pixel on the Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map represents the center of a 20 x 20 m square. By using this design we enable you to see the biomass of your field through the pixels.


Every corner of the field needs to have a nitrogen value attached to it, even if most of the 20 x 20 m square lie outside of the field. So your spreader can read the Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Map. You just need to work on the field boundaries as you usually do.



Which file type to export - request a test file


The file type you need to download depends on your spreader terminal type. You will find this information in the user manual of your spreader terminal.


To check the compatibility of your terminal and spreader, you can request a test file. We will send you the file with instructions, so that you can quickly check the compatibility of your equipment.



Creating VRA maps for multiple fields at once


Unfortunately, you can only create Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps for one field at a time. But we are working on enabling this functionality for you.

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