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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Applying Spatial Analysis for Precision Conservation Across the Landscape

Authors
item Berry, Joseph - U OD DENVER, DENVER, CO
item Delgado, Jorge
item Pierce, Francis - WASH. STATE UNIV.
item Khosla, Rajiv - CSU, FT. COLLINS, CO

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 30, 2005
Publication Date: November 7, 2006
Citation: Berry, J., Delgado, J.A., Pierce, F., Khosla, R. 2006. Applying spatial analysis for precision conservation across the landscape. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. 60:363-370.

Interpretive Summary: With GIS, GPS, remote sensing and modeling tools we can evaluate in space and time how management practices contribute to reducing offsite transport of nutrients at a field scale and linking these management practices to a watershed scale. We could use these new tools to identify landscape risk areas, helping us to make management decisions to implement precision conservation practices. Precision conservation will contribute to better management of our resources for air, soil and water. As we advance with new and/or improved models, the integration from field scale to the watershed level will be easier to evaluate. There is the need to continue the development and calibration of models that can integrate all of this information. It is clear that GIS, GPS have advanced significantly during the last ten years, contributing to a more precise evaluation of natural resources and to the development of precision conservation practices. These new advances in precision conservation provide several examples on how we can use spatial tools. These new tools for spatial analysis and statistics are changing conservation research and management. We conclude that precision conservation will use these spatial technologies to improve the conservation of our natural resources and to maintain the sustainability needed in this century.

Technical Abstract: Although new technologies such as precision farming will contribute to increasing yields per unit area, similarly soil and water conservation will be instrumental in maintaining these increases in productivity. Initially Precision Conservation was defined as the integration of spatial technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) and the ability to analyze spatial relationships within and among mapped data. Surface modeling, spatial data mining and map analysis are three broad categories that can be used to analyze layers of information to develop and implement management practices that contribute to soil and water conservation in agricultural and natural ecosystems. In this paper we expand the definition of precision conservation to a developing science that uses the new spatial technologies to link a system from a site specific location, to a field, to a set of fields (farm) to a regional scale. We also expand our discussion based on the status of precision conservation as it was shown by twenty six precision conservation papers presented at the 2004 Soil Science Society of America annual meeting. We propose that precision conservation will be a key science to contribute to the sustainability of our biosphere in this century.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014