Submitted to: Potato Association of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Site-specific agriculture is the science and the art of doing what is needed, when it is needed, and only where it is needed. In the corn/soybean systems of the Midwest, this has meant variable rate ground applications of pre-plant fertilizers, followed by yield monitoring. Work has now been initiated in several locations to develop site-specific water and nitrogen application systems. In a few locations, work on a second boom on center-pivot systems to deliver pesticides is also underway. Fields can be divided into management zones based on soil samples, topography, historical information such as yield and pest maps, grower preference, etc. Less water can be applied to low-lying areas that have a tendency to rot. Inputs can be withheld from areas such as rock patches that will yield poorly, no matter how they are managed. IPM plays an important role in site-specific management. In conventional management systems, chemical control methods often interfered with biological control methods. Using site-specific management, chemical applications might only be required in a specific area, leaving the biocontrol agents in the untreated areas to rapidly recolonize the treated areas. Green manure crops might give adequate control of low populations of some weeds, insects, and diseases. Areas with higher populations could be managed using a combination of green manure, cultural, and chemical methods. Since yield is the integration of all the management activities, yield monitoring can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of site-specific management. Results of our work in determination of management zones, development of experimental sites for prescription research, pest mapping, site-specific prescription development and yield monitoring will be presented.