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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OPTIMIZING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT FOR HUMID CLIMATES

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Using Precision Agriculture Methods to Predict Soil Suitability for Rainfed Corn Production

Authors
item Vories, Earl
item Kitchen, Newell
item Sudduth, Kenneth
item Sadler, Edward
item Griffin, Terry - UNIV OF ARK COOP EXT SVC
item Stevens, Gene - UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
item Dunn, David - UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2008
Publication Date: June 30, 2008
Citation: Vories, E., Kitchen, N., Sudduth, K., Sadler, E., Griffin, T., Stevens, G., Dunn, D. 2008. Using precision agriculture methods to predict soil suitability for rainfed corn production. In: ASABE Annual International Meeting Technical Papers. American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting, June 28-July 2, 2008, Providence, Rhode Island. Paper No. 084437.

Interpretive Summary: The need for additional corn to meet the high demand for bio-fuels in the US, along with high energy and fertilizer costs, will likely lead to more corn produced in the Mid-South without irrigation (rainfed). Some fields would be better suited to such a production system than others and methods are being developed to identify suitable fields to reduce the risk of crop failure. A field study conducted at the University of Missouri Delta Research Center Marsh Farm at Portageville related information obtained with precision agriculture methods to rainfed corn yields. Initial efforts have indicated that additional information is needed to adequately describe the variation in grain yield and the study is continuing. Identifying fields best suited to rainfed corn production will reduce the risk to farmers, allow more efficient use of energy and fertilizers, and provide additional bio-fuels for everyone.

Technical Abstract: The need for additional corn to meet the high demand for bio-fuels in the US will likely lead to more rainfed corn production in the Mid-South. The high degree of soil variability in the area suggests that some fields would be better suited to such a production system than others. Methods are being developed to use precision agriculture data to indicate suitable fields to reduce the risk of crop failure. A field study was conducted at the University of Missouri Delta Research Center Marsh Farm at Portageville to relate information obtained with precision agriculture methods to rainfed corn yields. Initially soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and surface elevation were investigated along with soil mapping units. Yield differences did not correspond well to county soil survey map units. Including relative elevation (RE) in a quadratic equation of ECa provided only a slightly better equation than the ECa terms only. The range of yield values that could be predicted from ECa was not sufficient to adequately describe the observed yields. The study is continuing in 2008 and additional information will be collected.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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