Department of Defense and can be used 24 hours a day anywhere on Earth. GPS has military, industrial, commercial, and civilian uses. The GPS system allows producers to identify locations in the field by latitude and longitude so that inputs can be applied based on performance and previous input applications. A GPS receiver can be attached to farm machinery to measure within-field variability.
Precision in Crop Farming: Site Specific Concepts and Sensing Methods Applications and Results
For example, converting the raw data gathered with the satellite with GPS software can produce a yield map. Many of these site-specific technologies are commercially available as separate components. This allows individual producers to assemble a package of technologies specifically tailored to their operation. Basic technologies include aerial photography and soil survey maps.
The GPS technology required for this analysis assumes using a one-input variable rate applicator for nitrogen fertilizer. Every location in the field can be evaluated according to its specific characteristics and assigned an optimal input application rate unique to that location. Thus, there can be many different application rates across the field.
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For example, suppose we have three GPS locations in the field, locations a, b, and c and two soil characteristics, pH 7. Whole-field farming would use the average pH level, 7. Precision farming would use the actual pH level for each location, 7. Optimal nitrogen application may be 70 lbs. Data for each of the four crops selected for study were gathered in the Southern High Plains of Texas. The objective of the study was to determine the profitability of precision farming in the Southern High Plains of Texas for cotton, corn, grain sorghum, and peanuts. Specific objectives were to determine the biological relationship between yield and production inputs by estimated production functions using SAS SAS, Nitrogen behavior over time was also estimated to forecast nitrogen residual availability for future years.
The estimated models were used in a dynamic optimization framework to maximize net present value of returns above nitrogen and water costs NPVR , which is a measure of profitability. This modeling framework allowed for the effects of changes in the field over time to be captured in addition to the spatial changes from each GPS location to compare the two technologies. Results for precision farming were found to be commodity specific, which is consistent with findings from Heermann et al.
Yield and nitrogen fertilizer application levels are compared in both whole-field and precision farming technology and reported in the following sections. Net present value of returns above nitrogen and water costs NPVR , used as an indicator of profitability is also determined in each crop under the two technologies and reported in the sections that follow. Finally, a monetary value per acre is given for each commodity estimating the approximate amount of money one could justify spending on implementing precision farming technology.
This is done because technology prices change over time, and, if one commodity is not determined to be feasible under precision farming due to implementation costs today, it may be in the future. In cotton production, several fields were tested in Lamesa, Texas. A combination of cotton, fertilizer, and water prices were used. Results were not particularly sensitive to the variations.
Therefore, recommendations provided will cover ranges for yield, NPVR, and fertilizer application. Precision farming fertilizer average application did not change. However, specific location recommendations decreased by as much as The cotton studies did not appear to have a lot of potential in precision farming. However, if more than fertilizer was precisely applied, efficiencies might be gained, justifying the new technology. The averages reported do not tell the whole story.
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A more detailed look at specific characteristics is necessary to determine locations within the field with the greatest potential for profit. Identifying these could help cotton producers determine if their specific field conditions would be appropriate for exploring precision farming possibilities.
Agronomists ran the field trials and determined the characteristics of importance based on soil conditions and the specific crop in question. When looking at the most profitable locations, the locations had the following characteristics in common. Precision farming in corn production was found to be more receptive to the new technology than cotton.
Site-Specific Management Guidelines
This is largely due to the responsiveness of corn to nitrogen fertilizer. Specifically, yields, NPVR, and fertilizer application under precision farming outpaced traditional whole-field farming by the following magnitudes:. The averages indicate that, although precision farming used more fertilizer, it was used more efficiently.
This means that the additional costs incurred from the fertilizer were more than justified by the increase in revenues. Grain sorghum was also found to be responsive to precision farming, although not as much as corn.
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- Basic technologies used in precision farming:.
Because differences existing within single fields must be considered. The transition from former field work carried out manually or by small implements to present-day high-capacity machinery caused that the farmers lost the immediate and close contact with soils and crops. However, modern sensing and controlling technology can make up for this deficit.
High tech methods that include proximal sensing and signals from satellites can provide for controls that allow adjusting farming operations to small fractions of one ha and sometimes even down to some m2, hence in a site-specific mode. This applies to operations for soil cultivation, sowing, fertilizing and plant protection. This book deals with site-specific concepts, applications and results.
Precision in Crop Farming
The editor and main author — Hermann J. It can also serve as a reference in a more comprehensive course or series of courses on precision crop farming. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Log out of Readcube. Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. This paper critically evaluates conventional agricultural land suitability and appraisal methods in a developing country and points out their shortcomings.
It also evaluates the new paradigm of precision farming with geoinformatics techniques and highlights the beneficial aspects to land use and agricultural production. In this context the paper shows that traditional physiographic, taxonomic, and land use systems prove inadequate while geoinformatics using remote sensing data and GPS controlled point observations and soil sample data work best in modern precision farming.
An application of the new paradigm in the Orle River basin in Edo State, Nigeria is used to illustrate how precision farming strategies incorporating geoinformatics might be implemented in Africa. Volume 10 , Issue 2. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.
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