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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCED MIDWESTERN CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Title: The role of precision agriculture in food production and security

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Kitchen, Newell

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Variability in production represents a multidimensional problem. Variability occurs among years induced by weather variation, within fields induced by soil variation, and across years and within fields induced by the legacy of management decisions and their interactions with the weather during the growing season. The multidimensionality of this problem is rarely considered in how we view the overall agricultural production system. Precision agriculture offers the potential to improve food production and food security. However, the challenge will be to move beyond the diagnostic phase into a more prescriptive phase of application of these technologies. Nitrogen management has been one of the areas in which precision agriculture technology has been successfully applied; however, one of the emerging challenges would be to relate this information with soil water holding capacity in order to achieve the maximum benefit to both production and grain quality. Food security can be enhanced through the integration of the spatial information at the field scale combined with information about the most effective management practices to be implemented within the field. There is evidence that combining remote sensing along with soil maps and agronomic assessments will provide new insights into improved management practices. Feeding an ever increasing population on the limited resources requires we integrate information from a variety of sources into improved methods for managing individual fields. This is the goal of precision agriculture, and to meet the challenge of feeding the world requires we begin to implement a much more integrated approach to managing our production systems.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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