|Richard Jr, Edward|
Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2003
Publication Date: 7/20/2003
Citation: Johnson, R.M., Richard Jr, E.P. 2003. Precision agricultural applications in Louisiana sugarcane production systems [abstract]. Sugar Journal. 66(1):27-28.
Technical Abstract: Louisiana sugarcane producers, like most U.S. agricultural producers, have faced increased economic pressure in recent years. Low sugar prices and increased input costs have decreased profit margins significantly. To be successful, producers must find ways to decrease costs and maximize profits. The systems of precision agriculture may provide several important tools to accomplish this task. This study reports results from our evaluations of the spatial variability in sugarcane yield and quality in relation to variations in soil chemical and physical properties in selected sugarcane soils of Southern Louisiana. Sugarcane variety LCP 85-384 was harvested in two producers¿ fields for two consecutive years in Schriever and Patoutville, LA, respectively. The field in Schriever was a plant cane and first stubble crop and the field in Patoutville was a fourth and fifth stubble crop in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Each field was harvested in a grid cell pattern with cell dimensions of 10.6 x 15.2 m with a single row, chopper sugarcane harvester with weights determined using a weigh wagon. A random sample of cane billets was also obtained from each grid cell for sugar quality analysis. Soil samples (0-15 cm) were collected after harvest from each grid cell. Yield, quality and soils data were analyzed by both conventional statistics and geostatistical techniques. Maps of sugarcane yield, quality and soil properties were constructed and when utilized may prove useful in delineation of management zones for variable rate lime and fertilizer application.