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Precision Agriculture: Precision Resource Management, Phase IV
Shearer, S. A., T.S. Stombaugh, C.R. Dillon, B.D. Lee, J.H. Grove, J.D. Green, J.J. Cox, M.R. Dzialak,S. Fei
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
The problem facing most Kentucky landowners and farmers is the lack of appropriate and cost effective strategies to manage scarce and variable resources in a site-specific manner. Specific efforts in this project are split between developing and advancing geospatial technologies in support of three thrusts: i) agricultural systems, ii) land use planning and decision-making, and iii) natural resource management in Kentucky.
These thrusts are addressed by specific objectives within eight subprojects: 1) A System for Implementing Dynamic Accuracy Standards for Machine Guidance Technology in Agriculture; 2) Development of a GIS-Based Model for the Generation of Pesticide and Nutrient Distribution Maps; 3) Tools for Increasing Machine Efficiency in Irregular Fields; 4) Licking River Watershed Assessment and Classification; 5) Surface Soil Hydrology: Management Driven or Map Predicted; 6) Gray Fox Ecology and Monitoring in Kentucky; 7) Harnessing Cell Phone Technology to Track the Black Bear in Eastern Kentucky; and 8) Identify Spatio-temporal Dispersal Corridors and Hotspots of Invasive Species.
2010 Project Description
Subproject 1: An upgraded test engine and receiver car system, which transports GPS receivers around the test track, was redesigned with an updated control system for implementing dynamic signal reacquisition tests. Testing verified the fixtures ability to maintain speeds of 5 +/- 0.1 m/s and 2.5 +/- 0.1 m/s. Software was developed to synchronize data flow from multiple sources and to interface with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinets CORS.
Subproject 2: GIS models were used to generate pesticide distribution maps based on sprayer path, boom section status, and boom pressure measurements. The maps illustrate locations where overlap, boom pressure variation, and sprayer turning movements can lead to application errors.
Subproject 3: Ranging sensors including infra-red, ultrasonic and laser distance were evaluated for use in sensing the distance between a tractor and target trailing wagon. In addition, a mechanism was fabricated to accurately measure the angle between tractor and trailing implement frame. Code for data acquisition and control as well as wireless communication between vehicles was developed in support of field data collection.
Subproject 4: ESRI's ModelBuilder was utilized to characterize the Licking River Basin according to more than 50 indicators organized by theme: Geographic, Geomorphic, Human, Vegetation, Riparian, and Specialty Indicators. Over 800 HUC14 subwatersheds have been statistically clustered into 11 groups that can facilitate monitor sampling and intervention prioritization.
Subproject 6: Because of the difficulty with live trapping gray foxes, researchers have switched the scope of the project to a strictly non-invasive approach using the originally proposed hair snares, but also using scat dogs which have become an increasingly important tool in wildlife and conservation research. Fieldwork will be initiated using both techniques this winter for comparative, long-term monitoring of fox and a select few other mesocarnivores (bobcat and coyote).
Subproject 7: Twenty five black bears have been fitted with GPS collars equipped with cell phone technologies (GPS-GSM) that transmit text messages to a central computer several times per day to evaluate whether these units would increase data recovery and collection over prior collar technologies. As bears are recaptured researchers will be evaluating the long-term functionality (3+ years) of these GPS-GSM collars, and importantly, their potential for conducting animal studies that require monitoring of individuals or populations over similar or longer time intervals.
Subproject 8: A digital database has been created based on weedy invasive data from the University of Kentucky Weed Science Identification Program since 1986 and historic invasive specimens from 11 herbaria across Kentucky. We have analyzed the association between landcover type and invasive species, and identified key areas of invasive species hotspots and dispersal corridors.
Subproject 1: Data concerning testing procedures has been made provided to the committee in charge of the ISO 12188-1 standard on dynamic testing of satellite based positioning devices used in agriculture. The standard will normalize the way manufactures report GPS receiver accuracy when intended for use agricultural field practices making it easier for consumers to select equipment based upon comparable specifications.
Subproject 2: Results of studies conducted on multiple sprayers indicated that pesticide over-application was reduced from an average of 6% to 15% depending on the number of automatic control sections adopted by the producer. Study findings indicate that boom pressure variations and turning movements significantly impact effective pesticide application rates resulting in less than 40% of the total field area receiving +/- 10% of the target application rate.
Subproject 3: With the proposed method, it is possible that um RTK-GPS unit to be substituted by lower cost distance sensors reducing the cost of the total system and/or making the substituted RTK unit for others tasks. Besides the cost reduction, this project could be further extended to a fully automated system where a tractor with grain cart and harvester are synchronized such that the unloading auger is always targeting the cart.
Subproject 4: Researchers contributed to the conceptual prioritization of subwatersheds for the Kentucky portion of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative of the USDA and are invited participants in a forum to discuss and potentially characterize relative health of watersheds in Kentucky.
Subproject 6: Researchers have successfully leveraged the use of a state wildlife surplus field vehicle, logistical support of state personnel, and several thousand dollars to help support this study.
Subproject 7: Findings from this study thus far indicate a high potential for data recovery from animals fitted with GPS-GSM collars. These streaming data have allowed almost immediate production of maps and inference of patterns that can elucidate animal activity (e.g. bear denning, bear use of dumpsters in urban areas, location of nuisance animals). As a result, state wildlife biologists and law enforcement have benefited from the near real-time potential of data to inform management decisions and activities concerning bears.
Subproject 8: Knowledge gained from this project will help to reduce the cost of invasive control, reduce the threat of invasion on native ecosystem, and enhance the long-range sustainability, which will have long-term social, ecological, and economic benefits in Kentucky and beyond.
Lee, B.D., A. Schorgendorfer, C.L. Wilson, L. Haight-Maybriar, and J. Webb. 2010. Watershed Clustering Based on Geomorphic and Human Induced Landscape Modifications: The Licking River Basin. In Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, 2010 Kentucky Water Resources Annual Symposium. (pp. 47-48) Lexington, Kentucky March 22. Available at: http://www.uky.edu/WaterResources/2010%20Proceedings.pdf.
Lee, B.D., and C.L. Wilson. 2010. First Pass Watershed Prioritization for Targeted Best Management Practice Implementation. In Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, 2010 Kentucky Water Resources Annual Symposium. (pp. 55-56) Lexington, Kentucky March 22. Available at: http://www.uky.edu/WaterResources/2010%20Proceedings.pdf.
Liang, Y. 2010. Exotic Invasive Plants in Kentucky. M.S. Thesis. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Luck, J.D., S.K. Pitla, R.S. Zandonadi, M.P. Sama, and S.A. Shearer. 2010. Estimating Off-Rate Pesticide Application Errors Resulting from Agricultural Sprayer Turning Movements. Precision Agric. Published, Available online at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/83p6311681v75516/.
Luck, J.D., R.S. Zandonadi, B.D. Luck, and S.A. Shearer. 2010. Reducing pesticide over-application with map-based automatic boom section control on agricultural sprayers. Trans. ASABE. 53(3): 685-690.