Submitted to: Agroacoustics Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The advancement of soil and crop science depends on our ability to measure the pertinent properties and processes. Farm management also needs such measurement capability since "You can't manage what you can't measure". In the past, we were limited to measuring points in time or space. Increasingly, we now need to measure parameters both temporally and spatially with greater precision and accuracy. New devices and techniques are continually being developed to answer these needs. Additionally, measurements that were once impossible may now be feasible because of new technologies. Recently, acoustical techniques have been applied to agricultural problems. Soil properties such as porosity, tortuosity, and permeability have been estimated with acoustical instruments. There is potential for measuring other soil and crop parameters with acoustics. Examples include measuring soil layering by texture, compaction, or water content; quantifying surface roughness; estimating soil elasticity, compressibility, and plasticity; and locating buried objects such as rocks and tile drains. Also, estimation of crop and residue characteristics are potentially possible using acoustical techniques as well. Acoustic techniques that show promise for making such measurements include: 1) Acoustic Surface Impedance, 2) Acoustic Level Difference, 3) Acoustic Scattering, and 4) Seismic Coupling. Two and even three-dimensional mapping of soil and crop properties may be feasible in the future using arrays of sensors and combinations of techniques.