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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Past, Present, Future
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Present and Future

Past Accomplishments

 

Parshall Flume

Ralph Parshall’s venturi flume is in use world wide.

 

Variable Chemical Application

 

Variable Chemical Application

Cooperation with industry partners has resulted in a pivot attached spray system capable of variable chemical application.

 Irrigation Management

 Irrigation Management

Center pivot irrigation scheduling programs use weather data to recommend time and amount of irrigation.

 

Weed Models

 Weed Models

Use of bioeconomic weed models reduced herbicide use by 6% and increased profit by $11.60 per acre.

 Remote Sensing

 Remote Sensing

Crop growth stage and need for nitrogen can be detected in near real time.

 Water Quality

 Water Quality

Water management studies addressed problems from animal waste control to agriculture salinity.

 Surface Irrigation Automation

 Surface Irrigation Automation

Automatic controls reduced the labor required to change irrigation sets.

 

Pivot Hydraulics

 Pivot Hydraulics

Equations for expressing the uniformity of center pivots are incorporated into international standards.

 

Crop Water Use

 Crop Water Use

Early evaporation tank studies evolved into evapotranspiration equations and a state wide weather station network.

   

 

 

 

The Present and the Future

 Yield Mapping

 Yield Mapping

Commercial yield monitors allow precise mapping of crop production.

 Weed Mapping

 Weed Mapping

Site specific weed management can reduce herbicide use by 30% to 60% or one million pounds per year in Colorado.

 

Remote Sensing

 Remote Sensing

One study showed N fertilizer could be reduced by 35 lbs/acre without reducing yield precision application.

 

-       Precision Farming -

The right amount…

In the right place…

At the right time!!

 

 

Electrical Conductivity

 Electrical Conductivity

New technologies such as EM38 allow rapid assessment of variable soil properties.

 

Variable Chemical Application

 Variable Chemical Application

New equipment allows applying fertilizer and pesticides only when and where needed.

 Improved Sprinkler Design

 Improved Sprinkler Design

With proper design, center pivots can apply water very uniformly.

 

Models

 Models

Both research and customer models such as the sprinkler design, weed bioeconomics, and irrigation scheduling continue to be important products.

 


Last Modified: 12/21/2009
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