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Precision Agriculture: Precision Resource Management - Phase V
T.S. Stombaugh, M. Arthur, C.T. Agouridis, C. Barton, S. Fei, J.H. Grove
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
SP1: Results of this investigation will provide a solution to improve harvesting operation efficiency and safety by having a better control over the process of transferring the grain from the combine to the grain cart. A great benefit will come to small and medium sized producers that may already have adopted automatic guidance to a certain extent but would not be able to fully take advantage of more than one high accuracy steering system.
SP2: Agricultural producers will benefit from enhanced yield monitor systems which can provide accurate data for creating improved yield maps. Accurate yield maps can be used by producers as management tools to reduce crop, fertilizer and chemical expenditures by avoiding over or under application of crop inputs.
SP3: The proposed system will provide a new method for variable rate pesticide application on an individual nozzle basis creating a means to eliminate off-rate pesticide application errors resulting from changes in sprayer speed and velocity variations across the spray boom.
SP4: This project will benefit corn producers by helping them to determine if this NIR/NDVI sensing technology is useful in their production systems. A significant reduction in nitrogen on one million acres of corn in Kentucky would greatly increase nitrogen use efficiency and reduce the chances of nitrogen in the surface and groundwater.
SP5: A functional spatial classification system that both defines and delimits critical crop residue management areas for residue removal, or preservation, could be used by stakeholders (landowners, policymakers, regulators) interested in guiding and prioritizing implementation of practices designed to maximize agriculture's contribution to renewable fuel production while also reserving land resources.
SP6: This work will provide stakeholders with a web-based tool for visualizing land-assessment information. The accompanying educational material that is developed will help insure that citizens are trained to use these datasets to make better land-use decisions. We intend to leverage this funding to seek extramural support for the expansion of this work to other Kentucky counties.
SP7: A better understanding of the hydrology of headwater seeps will aid the KSNPC, Daniel Boone National Forest and other land managers in their efforts to manage and preserve these rare ecosystems. It is anticipated that the results of the proposed study will determine if enhancement or restoration activities are needed to maintain the hydrologic character and habitat of these sites.
SP8: The increasing use of prescribed fire as a management tool in the central hardwood and southern Appalachian forest regions will require improved monitoring to evaluate changes to forest vegetation across the landscape.
SP9: This project will connect the theoretical research of invasive ecology with on-the-ground invasive management activities by identifying and prioritizing urgent invasive control hotspot areas with a scientific-based analysis of invasive distribution, spread, and ecosystem invasibility and importance.
2011 Project Description
Equipment components were purchased to assemble the cut-width sensing mechanism. A Visual Basic (VB) program was developed to acquire and store the data from the two sensors. The sensor was evaluated by using corn stalks and cardboard test surface as targets in laboratory conditions. The data were analyzed to determining accuracy. The evaluation of the sensors in the field setup indicated that the laser sensors were able to detect the crop edges.
A pneumatic control system for the variable-rate nozzle was developed and tested with promising results. Results indicated that turndown ratios of 2.5:1 were possible using this method of control at constant pressure. Project findings led to further tests with an alternate method for controlling the nozzle, which simplified the control system.
The Frances Johnson Palk State Nature Preserve in Pulaski County, has been found to contain occurrences of three rare plants which are critically imperiled in Kentucky. In addition, this site also harbors the only Kentucky population of a rare invertebrate. Concern about the site has arisen recently due to a perceived "drying" of the wetlands, which could have adverse effects on the sensitive species that reside within.
In an effort to better understand the hydrology of these systems and to determine if the wetlands are becoming drier, a characterization study was developed with the following objectives:
1) determine the influence of landscape position, geomorphology and land-use on wetland hydroperiod,
2) determine the origin of water within the seeps, and establish pathways for net water transformations (+ and -) in the system,
3) characterize channel formation below seeps and establish whether the channels influence seep hydrology (i.e. draining), and
4) determine if enhancement or restoration activities are needed to maintain/restore the hydrologic character of these sites.
The 2.5 year characterization study was completed in 2011 and results are currently being written up for dissemination. Three visits/tours for personnel employed by the KSNPC and the USDA NRCS were conducted in 2011.
Remote sensing data have the potential to provide accurate and relatively inexpensive information in support of landscape scale management objectives in central hardwood and southern Appalachian forests. A management tool increasingly applied to this landscape is prescribed fire, the goals of which are typically targeted at changing forest structure, such as stem density and basal area. This project tests the idea that:
1. landsat imagery can be used to assess landscape patterns of forest response to burning, and
2. relationships between image-derived indices and field-measured forest characteristics such as canopy openness will be statistically significant and useful for predicting similar relationships across the broader landscape.
Outputs for this year focused on conducting statistical analyses examining the relationships between Landsat-derived vegetation indices and landscape patterns of forest response to burning.
The data collected using the proposed cut-width sensing mechanism will aid in developing algorithms that can correct the yield monitor data. Accurate yield maps can be used as management tools to reduce crop, fertilizer and chemical expenditures by avoiding over or under application of crop inputs. Agricultural producers will benefit from enhanced yield monitor systems which will provide accurate data for creating improved yield maps.
This study has resulted in new knowledge regarding the potential performance of variable orifice nozzles. To date, these types of nozzles have been reactive in nature, resulting in slow response times and excessive variation in flow rates. Implementation of the technology being developed has the potential to benefit the natural environment by contributing to improved pesticide efficacy by reducing over- and under-application during field treatments.
The computer application for coverage simulation allows the user to evaluate potential savings of farming inputs (fertilizer, seeds, spray material) by using automatic-section control technology and/or varying the coverage path orientation. Results of this research clearly showed potential savings that could be achieved with the implementation of automatic section control technology, and that path orientation can have a significant impact on input errors due to point rows and headland encroachment.
The coverage algorithm is based on the assumption of perfect parallel swaths. Thus, if GPS data of current operation exists, the user can investigate the performance of the driving pattern by comparing the actual driving pattern with the simulated path. Results elucidated the conflict between the optimum path orientation for minimizing application errors and the optimum path for maximizing machine field efficiency. The combination of coverage simulation and field efficiency estimative leads to a potential tool for field path planning optimization.
Sustainable crop residue removal/retention management requires knowledge of the spatial distribution of 1) soil organic matter; 2) yield of the residue generating crop (corn); and 3) likely yield of the following crop. Precision spatial technologies will likely permit targeted residue removal.
A better understanding of the hydrology of headwater seeps will aid the KSNPC, Daniel Boone National Forest and other land managers in their efforts to manage and preserve these rare ecosystems. Findings from the study have indicated that enhancement or restoration activities could benefit the hydrologic character (increase ponding duration) and habitat of these sites, and provide the justification and detail needed to implement the restoration plan.
As we develop our approach, we will be able to measure the effects of prescribed fire on sites for which there is no potential for ground-based monitoring, thereby greatly extending the capacity to quantify the impacts and determine the level of success.
Arthur, M.A., C. McMichael, and G. Sovkoplas. 2011. Using Landsat imagery to monitor post-fire forest dynamics in upland oak forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky. AmericaView Fall Technical Meeting, October 10-11, 2011, Cleveland, Ohio.
Arthur, M.A., C. McMichael, and G. Sovkoplas. 2011. Using remotely-sensed imagery to monitor post-fire forest dynamics in upland oak forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky. 4th Fire in Eastern Oaks Conference, Maya 17-19, 2011, Springfield, Missouri.
Arthur, M.A., C. McMichael, and G. Sovkoplas. 2011. Using remotely-sensed imagery to monitor post-fire forest dynamics in upland oak forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky. Ecological Society of America, August 2011, August, Texas.
Grove, J.H., M.M. Navarro and E.M. Pena-Yewtukhiw. 2011. Detecting abiotic stress in soybean with a proximal canopy sensor. p. 523-532. In J.V. Stafford (ed.) Precision Agriculture 2011, Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Precision Agriculture. Prague, Czechoslovakia. 11-14 July. Czech Center for Science and Society, Prague, Czech Republic. ISBN: 978-80-904830-2-6.
Hamilton, N.J., B. Mijatovic, T.G. Mueller, B.D. Lee, B.W. Kew, H. Cetin, and A.D. Karathanasis. 2009. Google Earth Dissemination of Soil Survey Derived Interpretations for Land-Use Planning. Journal of Extension. Published on line at http://www.joe.org/joe/2009october/a3.php.
Hoy, C., C. Barton and C. Agouridis. Hydrochemical Characterization of Headwater Seep Wetlands in Southeastern Kentucky. Joint Meeting of Society of Wetland Scientists, WETPOL (Wetland Pollutant Dynamics and Control) and Wetland Biogeochemistry. Prague, Czech Republic. July 3-8, 2011.
Luck, J.D., T.G. Mueller, S.A. Shearer, and A.C. Pike. 2010. Grassed Waterway Planning Model Evaluated for Agricultural Fields in the Western Kentucky Coal Field Physiographic Region of Kentucky. JSWC (in press).
Luck, J.D., S.K. Pitla, S.A. Shearer, T.G. Mueller, C.R. Dillon, J.P. Fulton, and S.F. Higgins. 2010. Potential for Pesticide and Nutrient Savings via Map-Based Automatic Boom Section Control of Spray Nozzles. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 70:1-18.
McMichael, C., M. Arthur and G. Sovkoplas. 2011. Using Landsat imagery to monitor post-fire forest dynamics in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Kentucky GIS Conference 2011, Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals, October 4, 2011, Frankfort, KY.
Neelakantan, S., T.G. Mueller, B. Lee, B. Lee, P. Finnell, V. Bumgardner, and D. Carey. 2011. Web 2.0 spatial data browser for visualizing land-use assessment information from soil surveys. J. of Soil and Water Conservation and Management. 66:37A-39A.
Pena-Yewtukhiw, E.M., J.H. Grove and G.J. Schwab. 2011. Impact of individual sensor performance when array sensor number is reduced p. 480-490. In J.V. Stafford (ed.) Precision Agriculture 2011, Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Precision Agriculture. Prague, Czechoslovakia. 11-14 July. Czech Center for Science and Society, Prague, Czech Republic. ISBN: 978-80-904830-2-6.
Pike, A.C., T.G. Mueller, A. Schorgendorfer, J.D. Luck, S.A. Shearer, and A.D. Karathanasis. 2010. Locating eroded waterways with United States Geologic Survey Elevation Data. Agron. J.102:1269-1273.
Pike, A.C., T.G. Mueller, A. Schorgendorfer, S.A. Shearer, and A.D. Karathanasis. 2009. Erosion indices derived from terrain attributes using Logistic Regression and Neural Networks. Agronomy Journal. 101:1068-1079.
Shockley, J., C.R. Dillon, T.S. Stombaugh. 2011. A whole farm analysis of the influence of auto-steer navigation on net returns, risk, and production practices. Journal of Agricultural & Applied Economics, 43(1).
Wendroth, O., E.L. Ritchey, S. Nambuthiri, J.H. Grove and R.C. Pearce. 2011. Spatial variability of soil physical properties. pp. 827-839. In: Glinski, J., J. Horabik and J. Lipiec (eds.), Encyclopedia of Agrophysics. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany.