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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Potential Uses of Precision Agriculture and Precision Conservation for Improvements in Nutrient Use Efficiency and Environmental Conservation

Authors
item Colon, Wilfredo - UNIV. DEL ESTE
item Delgado, Jorge

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2004
Publication Date: July 30, 2004
Citation: Colon, W., Delgado, J.A. 2004. Potential uses of precision agriculture and precision conservation for improvements in nutrient use efficiency and environmental conservation. Proc. III Encuentro Cientifico International de Invierno.

Interpretive Summary: Lal (2000) reported that population growth and increasing demands for water resources will increase the need for a more efficient agriculture. Similarly, Berry et al. (2003) reported that in order to maintain sustainable higher yields with intensive agriculture during this new century, similar improvements in Precision Conservation will also be needed. Baligar et al. (1999) reported that the average nutrient use efficiencies for N, K2O and P2O5 were about 50, 40 and 10% respectively, and that increases of even one percentage in the nutrient use efficient will be equivalent to worldwide savings of millions of US dollars. Additionally, Baligar et al. (1999) reported that most of the worldwide agricultural productive land is already under cultivation, so further increases in agricultural production will have to come mainly from better management practices. Delgado, (2002) and Delgado and Follett (2002) reported that there is the need to continue increasing the Nitrogen use efficiencies and reduce the N looses within the context of the N cycle while including carbon management as part of nutrient management plans. It is clear that we will have to increase the efficiency and yield productivity during this new millennium while conserving soil and water quality. New technologies will have the potential to help us improve the efficiency, management and conservation of agricultural systems. Our manuscript will present how new technologies such as use of remote sensing (Bausch and Delgado, 2003), N management indexes, modeling, yield monitoring, and other new tools are being used to evaluate best management practices. We are also going to present case scenarios and examples of field studies conducted under commercial operations on how these new technologies are being used.

Technical Abstract: Lal (2000) reported that population growth and increasing demands for water resources will increase the need for a more efficient agriculture. Similarly, Berry et al. (2003) reported that in order to maintain sustainable higher yields with intensive agriculture during this new century, similar improvements in Precision Conservation will also be needed. Baligar et al. (1999) reported that the average nutrient use efficiencies for N, K2O and P2O5 were about 50, 40 and 10% respectively, and that increases of even one percentage in the nutrient use efficient will be equivalent to worldwide savings of millions of US dollars. Our manuscript will present how new technologies such as use of remote sensing (Bausch and Delgado, 2003), N management indexes, modeling, yield monitoring, and other new tools are being used to evaluate best management practices. We are also going to present case scenarios and examples of field studies conducted under commercial operations on how these new technologies are being used in the US. We will also give some examples of how management Zones and remote sensing has been effectively under commercial operations (Khosla et al. 2001; Bausch and Delgado, 2003). Precision farming and precision conservation will contribute to increase the use efficiency of agrochemicals and to higher and sustainable yields while reducing the offsite transport. These technologies will contribute to integrate the site specific management at agricultural field level with off site management across the landscape such as the integration of field management with buffer areas and riparian zones according to their specific variability and interaction. Modeling, remote sensing and Geographic information systems will be useful and needed tools to improve site specific management and conservation of agricultural systems. There is the need to continue our research integration and looking for the best application of these technologies to maximize yields, economical returns while conserving our environment.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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