Submitted to: No Tillage National Congress in Argentina
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2008
Publication Date: 8/12/2008
Citation: Kitchen, N.R. 2008. Strategic Management of Geo-Referenced Soil and Crop Information. In: Proceedings of the 16th Congress of Aapresid, August 12-15, 2008, Rosario, Argentina. p. 159-164.
Technical Abstract: For over a decade, farmers have been collecting site-specific yield data. Many have formed doubts about this investment because of their inability to directly apply this information as feedback for improving management. It seems evident that precision agriculture adoption has been hindered, in part, due to the lack of products that bring together engineering and agronomics. In the end, users of precision agriculture systems want to know that the best science and technology are employed, but that the information-gathering and decision-making process doesn’t hinder their day-to-day operations of producing the crop. This review paper highlights examples of spatial information collection and processing to accomplish real- or near real-time management operations. It also reviews a case-study analysis for how site-specific decisions can be improved by transforming a long-term multiple-crop yield-map dataset into profit maps. This analysis demonstrated how changing yield into profitability metrics could help a producer consider and then decide on different management options. Finally, precision agriculture may offer great promise for the future, but extensive additional research is required if this is to be realized. The research will not be easy, for few, if any, individuals have sufficiently broad training in the many disciplines (e.g. economics, engineering, crop and soil sciences, pest management) required to design the experiments, interpret the data, and ultimately provide answers for the practical economically-oriented farm management questions being asked. Multi-disciplinary teams will be necessary for this challenge to be successful.