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Title: Current status and future directions of precision agriculture for aerial application in the USA

item Lan, Yubin
item Thomson, Steven
item Huang, Yanbo
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item ZHANG, HUIHUI - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Asian Conference on Precision Agriculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2009
Publication Date: 11/11/2009
Citation: Lan, Y., Thomson, S.J., Huang, Y., Hoffmann, W.C., Zhang, H. 2009. Current status and future directions of precision agriculture for aerial application in the USA. Asian Conference on Precision Agriculture. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Satellite and aerial remote sensing technologies have advanced rapidly over the last decade and are useful tools for site-specific management in crop production and crop protection, particularly in the emerging area of aerial precision spray application. The integration of GPS-GIS guidance and delivery systems on agricultural aircraft has led to vast improvements in spray coverage and a corresponding reduction in off-target movement of pesticides. However, there is still considerable room for improvement. Through a thorough understanding of the past and current state of precision application spray technologies, future spray systems can be designed to overcome some of the deficiencies in current aerial delivery systems, benefitting both producers and applicators. Additionally, airborne remote sensing coupled with precision applications will benefit aerial applicators by creating a new revenue source because remote sensing missions could be easily scheduled to coincide with aerial spray applications.

Technical Abstract: Precision aerial application in the USA is less than a decade old since the development of the first variable-rate aerial application system. Many areas of the United States rely on readily available agricultural airplanes or helicopters for pest management. Variable-rate aerial application provides a solution for applying field inputs such as cotton growth regulators, defoliants, and insecticides. Prescription maps for aerial application have been developed using remote sensing and GPS/GIS technologies. Precision agriculture technology has the potential to benefit agricultural aviation industry by saving operators and farmers time and money.