Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 23, 2003
Publication Date: November 3, 2003
Citation: PIERCE, F., KITCHEN, N.R., HUGGINS, D.R., VAN ES, H.M. 2003. ENHANCING SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION THROUGH PRECISION AGRICULTURE [abstract] [CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Technical Abstract: Precision agriculture is a set of technologies and principles that enable farmers to manage their soils and crops according to localized conditions in the field and to improve the precision of their farming operations through technological innovation. Proponents suggest that by design precision agriculture is environmentally beneficial, if not at least benign; that is, precision agriculture is a "win-win" for the farmer and the environment. Conservationists will argue, and rightfully so, that there have been and will be many successes in soil and water conservation without precision agriculture, and that precision agriculture in practice does not necessarily result in conservation. In fact, it may increase soil and water quality problems. This paper explores, with examples, how the principles and practices of soil and water conservation can be enhanced through the methods and technologies of precision agriculture. We will use examples from different cropping regions of the United States that address specific soil and water conservation issues such as erosion prediction, soil productivity, water management, conservation tillage, leaching, and non-point source pollution. We will include an assessment of the conditions under which precision agriculture will enhance soil and water conservation and where it will not.