1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project: (1) determine if a topologically based general linear mixed model statistical approach is applicable for the analysis of the effects of site-specific and conventional management practices which occur at similar or different times and locations on commercial farms; (2) develop a cooperative project between a commercial farm and ARS research to determine if the proposed statistical/geographical information system (GIS) analysis process is applicable for commercial farms and if it can be formulated into a farmer/consultant friendly approach when crops are grown on a rotational basis; and (3) determine the utility of aplications of wireless technology to capture, share, and transfer spatial information about farm operations so that it strengthens the ability of farms to complete analyses of their farm operation.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Work will be done in fields on a cooperator farm that rotates crops. Define experimental units in a unique way so that independence among control and management treatments is achieved. The analysis process uses the spatial demographics modeled in the GIS to create zones of conventional agricultural practice within commercial production fields. Experimental precision agricultural practices are evaluated against conventional practices by use of smaller floating plots imbedded within the larger zones by spatially including the necessary information into a prescription file used by the VR controller. The various agricultural practices are evaluated using analysis of covariance to obtain regression effects describing the plot demographics. Using geospatial information the spatial correlation structure describing the relationships among plot residuals can be modeled. Wireless systems networks are developed to communicate commands and feedback information among personnel, computers, and field variable rate equipment.
3. Progress Report
This report serves to document research conducted under a Non-funded Cooperative Agreement between ARS and Dee Rivers Ranch. Additional details of research can be found in the report for the in-house project 6406-21610-007-00D, "Development of Precision Agriculture Systems for Cotton Production." Communications were by visiting farm and owner before the season started and planning experiments. The farm was equipped to link with a wide area network of wireless communication originating from a tower at Prairie, MS. Yield monitor data will be available at the end of the growing season on different types of soil, topography, and cropping systems than we have worked with before.