|Thomas, William - USDA-NRCS, NC|
|Fussell, Patrick - USDA-NRCS, NC|
Submitted to: International Conference on Precision Agriculture Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In the SE Coastal Plain, adoption of site-specific farming has lagged behind that in the upper Midwest. While the cause may be both sociological and economical in origin, it was clear that a quantitative awareness of the severity, spatial extent, and persistence of yield variation was needed before adoption could be considered. Consequently, funding was procured for ra project in SE North Carolina, titled "Management Practices to Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution on a Watershed Basis," for a site-specific farming objective titled "To improve and adopt precision farming as a best management practice." The project goals were to show existing variation in crop yield with combine yield monitors, to use computer models to predict yield and relate precision farming to water quality, and to improve and encourage site-specific nitrogen management. For the first goal, commercial yield monitors were placed on farmer combines, and yield maps were acquired during their normal operations. In three years of data collection, more than 4700 ha (11,000 acres) of corn, wheat, and soybean yields were mapped. Data were imported into ARC/Info GIS for summary and statistical analysis. For the second goal, sensitivity analyses of the CERES-Maize crop model were conducted to determine suitability for use in explaining yield variation. For the third goal, yield monitor data points were attributed to county soil survey map units, and for two fields, to fine-scale NRCS mapping units and several proposed management zones. Additionally, a preliminary analysis was conducted of field-scale N balance. This paper presents an overview of the findings in the demonstration project.