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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #278087

Title: The illuminating role of laser scanning digital elevation models in precision agriculture experimental designs - an agro-ecology perspective

item Willers, Jeffrey
item ROBERTS, DARRIN - Mississippi State University
item O'HARA, CHARLES - Mississippi State University
item MILLIKEN, GEORGE - Milliken And Associates
item HOOD, KENNETH - Perthshire Farms
item WALTERS, JOHN - Aggeos, Inc
item SCHUSTER, EDMUND - Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

Submitted to: Intech
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2011
Publication Date: 3/28/2012
Citation: Willers, J.L., Roberts, D., O'Hara, C., Milliken, G., Hood, K., Walters, J., Schuster, E. 2012. The illuminating role of laser scanning digital elevation models in precision agriculture experimental designs - an agro-ecology perspective. In: Rodriguez, J.A.M., editor. Laser Scanner Technology. Rijeka, Croatia: Intech. p. 221-258.

Interpretive Summary: The chapter discusses how laser scanning data streams of agricultural landscapes enable the art, practice, and implementation of diverse investigations of agricultural systems, gaining insight into the various ecological processes involved. The goal is to provide insight for other agricultural practitioners who are unfamiliar with this technology to similarly develop own approaches according to their interests. As these other applications of laser scanning are developed, all investigators of agricultural systems will benefit through the spread of shared knowledge and techniques.

Technical Abstract: Laser scanning data streams, when linked with multi-spectral, hyperspectral, apparent soil electro-conductivity (ECa), or other kinds of geo-referenced data streams, aid in the creation of maps that allow useful applications in agricultural systems. These combinations of georeferenced information provide an opportunity to include several types of statistical analyses, permitting the best interpretation of the information conveyed by such maps. Such maps have indicated remarkably innovative methods for solving the problems of agricultural systems. Several illustrations are discussed to demonstrate a few of the numerous kinds of applications enabled by laser scanning data streams in agriculture. These illustrations focus on a Mississippi cotton field and a Nebraska corn field. Topics considered include (1) describing an approach to statistically evaluate impacts upon production by site-specific management practices (such as seeding rate, nitrogen and potassium applications, irrigation, and other farming operations), including the assessment of interactions among these practices and the topographical characteristics of crop fields, (2) assessing the accuracy of laser scanning data products, (3) evaluating the spatial distribution of the abundance, dispersion and other characteristics of agricultural variables as abstractions of agro-ecological populations of interest, and (4) a partial topographical analysis of yield involving two topographical attributes: laser scanning elevation data and the shallow apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) measured by the Veris® cart (Veris Technologies, Salina, KS, USA), which is a proximal sensor system.