Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/2012
Publication Date: 12/10/2012
Citation: Digman, M.F., Shinners, K.J. 2012. Technology background and best practices: yield mapping in hay and forage. In: Proceedings of 2012 California Alfalfa and Grains Symposium, December 10-12, 2012, Sacramento, California. p. 143-148. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Over the last decade, researchers and equipment companies have worked to develop yield and moisture sensors that allow on-the-go collection of hay and forage yields in a spatial manner. Work has been conducted on windrowers, forage harvesters, large square balers, and round balers. However, commercial implementation has been limited to the forage harvester and square baler, and the square baler application does not yet allow yield to be spatially predicted. Adoption has been slowed by three main factors: cost of the systems, uncertainty of payback given generally low forage crop inputs, and challenges associated with accurately estimating hay and forage moisture, which is needed to accurately determine dry matter yield. However, as sensor cost decreases and input costs increase, Precision Agriculture applications will make more economic sense for our hay and forage crops.