Location: Crop Production Systems ResearchTitle: Agricultural aviation perspective on precision agriculture in the Mississippi delta
Submitted to: Smart Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/22/2019
Publication Date: 12/1/2019
Citation: Huang, Y. 2019. Agricultural aviation perspective on precision agriculture in the Mississippi delta. Smart Agriculture. 1(4):12-30.
Interpretive Summary: Redroot pigweed is a nuisance weed that affects cotton growth and yield worldwide. Being able to distinguish it from cotton would help producers and crop consultants better implement strategies used to suppress and control it. An ARS Scientist in Stoneville, MS determined that redroot pigweed could be differentiated from cotton plants with okra and super okra leaf shapes based on the light reflectance properties of their canopies. Light reflectance bands sensitive to leaf pigments, leaf orientation in the plant canopy, and leaf water content were found to be optimal for redroot pigweed and cotton separation. Commercial imaging systems used on ground-based or airborne platforms can be easily tuned into the spectral bands listed in this study, thus providing managers with a tool to use in precision agriculture applications of redroot pigweed in cotton production systems.
Technical Abstract: Crop production management has advanced into the stage of smart agriculture, which is driven by the state-of-the-art agricultural information technology, intelligent equipment and massive data resources. Smart agriculture inherits the idea from precision agriculture and brings agricultural production and management from mechanization and informalization to intelligentization with automatization. Precision agriculture has been developed from strategic monitoring operations in the 1980s to tactical monitoring and control operations in the 2010s. In the development, agricultural aviation has played a key role in serving systems for spray application of crop protection and production materials for precision agriculture with the guidance of global navigation through geospatial prescription mapping derived from remotely-sensed data. With the development of modernized agriculture, agricultural aviation is even more important for advancing precision agricultural practices with more efficient soil and plant health sensing and more prompt and effective system actuation and action. This paper overviews the status of agricultural aviation for precision agriculture to move toward smart agriculture, especially in the Mississippi Delta region, one of the important agricultural areas in the U.S. The research and development by USDA associated with the Mississippi Delta region are reported. The issues, challenges and opportunities are identified and discussed for further research and development of agricultural aviation technology for the next-generation precision agriculture, smart agriculture.