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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #180880

Title: ON-FARM RESEARCH – A TOOL FOR IMPLEMENTING AND VALIDATING SPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR SITE-SPECIFIC CROP MANAGEMENT

Author
item SHANNON, DONALD
item PALM, HARLAN
item Kitchen, Newell
item Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2005
Publication Date: 7/18/2005
Citation: Shannon, D.K., Palm, H.L., Kitchen, N.R., Sudduth, K.A. 2005. On-farm research–-A tool for implementing and validating spatial technologies for site-specific crop management[CDROM]. American Society of Agricultural Engineers Annual International Meeting. Abstract No. 051069.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Site-specific crop management (SSCM) is a collection of rapidly evolving concepts and technologies. Changes in one component nearly always affect the other components, often in complicated ways. This complexity, along with the need to integrate SSCM guidelines into an overall strategy of best management practices for integrated crop management, makes them difficult to develop and deliver. This project focused on using on-farm research to develop guidelines for sensor-based SSCM. Five cooperating producers in Missouri conducted on-farm SSCM experiments addressing management issues of their own choosing. Sensor-based data layers collected at each producer’s site included soil electrical conductivity, topography, remote sensing, and previous years' yield maps. Information on historical land use and management were also obtained. These data were used to develop the on-farm experiment and/or to evaluate within-field variability. During the two years of the project on-farm research helped participants understand the complex nature of SSCM, and the potential economic and environmental benefits of sensor-based data. As an example, one producer used soil electrical conductivity along with historical yield maps to delineate productivity zones. Corn seeding and nitrogen fertilizer rates were varied for these zones and compared to constant-rate strips. A partial budget analysis showed a $27.50 ha**-1 increase in return with variable rate application. In this case, yield was improved and seed and fertilizer costs were reduced when compared to the farmer’s standard practice. SSCM guidelines developed from these five farms will lead to the overall project goal of developing and delivering methods and tools that allow producers to manage within-field variability for production efficiency, environmental stewardship, and profitability.