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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit » Research » Research Project #440063

Research Project: Digital and Precision Agriculture for Sustainable Water and Salinity Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit

Project Number: 2036-61000-019-007-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2021
End Date: Oct 1, 2024

Objective:
Develop digital agriculture technologies enabling the development of sustainable irrigation and salinity management for the Western U.S. and other arid and semi-regions of the world.

Approach:
Digital technologies and data analytics are increasingly used to improve efficiencies along the entire food supply chain. At the field production level, precision digital agriculture techniques diversify and optimize agronomic management on farms according to prevailing plant and soil conditions. Real-time data on prevailing conditions are available from a variety of remote, proximal, and in situ sensor technologies. To be useful, many sensors require or benefit from a limited number of ground truth measurements that are used to calibrate prediction equations that relate the proxy sensor readings to the field variables of interest. The United States Salinity Laboratory has protocols for optimally collecting limited numbers of ground truth measurements using sensor directed response surface sampling designs (RSSD), and previously developed the Windows-based ESAP software package for creating optimal sampling schemes. The software is dated and has limited functionality on modern Windows computers. The initial focus of this project will be to generalize and update the previously developed RSSD methodology and to develop a new web-based software application for generating field sampling designs. Pending the outcome of this initial effort and available funding, the project may be amended to develop additional digital tools for soil, irrigation, and salinity management.