New technologies such as differential global positioning systems (DGPS) and geographical information systems (GIS) are making it possible to manage variability in soil properties and the microenvironment within a field. By providing information about where variability occurs and the patterns that exist in crop and soil properties, DGPS and GIS technologies have the potential of improving crop management practices. Yield monitoring systems linked to DGPS receivers are available for several types of horticultural crops and can be used in variety selection and/or improving crop management. Precision soil sampling and remote sensing technologies can be used to scout for infestations of insects, diseases, or weeds, to determine the distribution of soil nutrients, and to monitor produce quality by measuring crop vigor. Combined with variable rate application systems, precision soil sampling and remote sensing can help direct fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, and/or fungicide applications to only those regions of the field that require soil amendments or are above threshold levels. This could result in less chemical use and improved crop performance. As with any information driven system, the data must be accurate, inexpensive to collect, and, most importantly, must become part of a decision process that results in improvements in crop yield, productivity, and/or environmental stewardship.
Steven F. Berkheimer, Eric J. Hanson, Jason K. Potter, and Jeffrey A. Andresen
Some highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) fields adjacent to Michigan roads exhibit abnormally high levels of winter fl ower bud mortality and twig dieback, even following relatively mild winters. This work was conducted to determine if this injury was caused by deicing salts (primarily sodium chloride) that are applied to adjacent roads and blown by the wind onto bushes. Flower bud mortality was recorded in the spring at several locations within six farms adjacent to divided highways treated with deicing salts. Four farms were east of highways (downwind of prevailing wind direction) and two were west (upwind) of highways. Each May for 3 years, the numbers of live and dead fl ower buds were counted on plants located varying distances from the highway. Bush position and distance from the highway were determined with global positioning system (GPS) equipment. Bud health was also assessed monthly during the winter. In fields located downwind of highways, bud mortality was consistently greatest close to the road and decreased with distance. Salt had an apparent effect on mortality 60 to 120 m from the highway, depending on the year. In fields west or upwind of highways, bud mortality was not consistently related to distance from the highway. Flower bud injury was evident by mid-January, and increased throughout the winter. Results indicated that wind-blown salt spray can cause considerable injury in blueberry fields close to salted roads.
Arnold W. Schumann
Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) receiver. Mobile computing and data storage. Mobile or handheld computers are indispensible for recording field observations during scouting, leaf sampling, or soil surveying. When used in conjunction with GPS and
Qamar Uz Zaman, Arnold Walter Schumann, and David Charles Percival
on variations in elevation using a digital elevation model (DEM). Iqbal et al. (2005) used a real-time kinematics-global positioning system (RTK-GPS) and a geographic information system (GIS) to derive topographic features and relate them with
Q.U. Zaman, A.W. Schumann, and H.K. Hostler
Many citrus groves in Florida were affected by hurricanes in Summer 2004. A commercial 42-acre `Valencia' sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) grove of 2980 trees was routinely scanned with an automated ultrasonic system to measure and map tree canopy volumes. We estimated tree damage by comparing canopy volumes measured before and after the hurricanes of 2004. Ultrasonically sensed tree canopy volume was mapped and the relative tree canopy volume loss percentage (TCVL%) for each tree was calculated and classified into six categories [≤0 (no damage), 1% to 24%, 25% to 49%, 50% to 74%, 75% to 99%, and 100%]. Authenticity of the ultrasonically sensed missing trees was established by ground truthing or matching visually observed and georeferenced missing tree locations with ultrasonically sensed missing trees in the grove. Ninety-one trees were found missing during ground inspections after hurricanes and they exactly matched with ultrasonically sensed missing tree locations throughout the grove. All of the missing trees were in TCVL% categories 5 and 6 (≥75% damage). Some canopy volume was still detected with ultrasonics at the missing tree locations because of the presence of tall grass, weeds, or branches of large adjacent trees. More than 50% of trees in the grove were damaged (completely or partially) and generally larger trees (>100 m3) were damaged more by the hurricanes than small or medium size trees in each tree canopy volume loss category. The automated ultrasonic system could be used to rapidly identify missing trees (completely damaged) and to estimate partial tree canopy volume loss after hurricanes.
Gerald M. Henry, Michael G. Burton, and Fred H. Yelverton
with respect to their environment much easier ( Dieleman and Mortensen, 1999 ; Prather and Callihan, 1993 ). A global positioning system (GPS) can be a valuable instrument for monitoring the spread and establishment of perennial weeds over time and may
Timothy L. Righetti and Michael D. Halbleib
Agriculture is changing. State-of-the-art computer systems that use GPS (global positioning systems) data, GIS (geographic information systems) software, remotely sensed images, automated sampling, and information analysis systems are transforming growers' ability to produce their crops. Currently, the farm service and agricultural sales industry, rather than the grower direct most information technology applications. Precision agriculture must become an information-driven and grower-driven process. Data evaluation has to be made simpler, less time consuming, and inexpensive. The purpose of this paper is to outline potential strategies and demonstrate how information can be processed and evaluated with readily available and inexpensive analytical tools.
Melody Reed Richards, Larry A. Rupp, Roger Kjelgren, and V. Philip Rasmussen
The potential of bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) as a small, water-conserving landscape tree for the western United States is limited by the selection of superior accessions from a morphologically diverse gene pool and the ability to propagate wild plants in a nursery environment. Superior accessions were selected based primarily on red fall color. Aerial digital images taken during peak fall color in 2007 and 2008 were synchronized with flight global positioning system (GPS) track files using digital image editor software and visually compared with corresponding satellite images to determine the exact latitude and longitude of selected trees on the ground. Trees were physically located using GPS technology then visually evaluated for initial selection. Criteria included fall color, habitat, relative disease and insect resistance, bud quality, and plant form. From 56 observed trees of interest, six were selected for propagation. Through time-course experiments using multistemmed, bigtooth maple seedling rootstocks in a coppiced stoolbed, the optimum time for chip budding scions of wild accessions in northern Utah was determined to be July through mid-August. Further evaluation of accessions for use in the landscape industry is required.
N.S. Lang, L. Mills, R.L. Wample, J. Silbernagel, E.M. Perry, and R. Smithyman
Research suggests that blackleaf (a leaf disorder in grape, Vitis labrusca L.) is induced by high levels of ultra violet (UV) radiation and overall light intensity, resulting in color changes (purple-brown-black) for sun-exposed leaves of the outer canopy, and a corresponding >50% reduction in photosynthesis. Metabolic indicators (photosynthesis and leaf water potential), percent blackleaf expression, and full spectrum leaf reflectance were mapped within vineyards using global positioning system (GPS) and digital remotely-sensed images. Each image and data record was stored as an attribute associated with a specific vine location within a geographical information system (GIS). Spatial maps were created from the GIS coverages to graphically present the progression of blackleaf across vineyards throughout the season. Analysis included summary statistics such as minimum, maximum, and variation of green reflectance, within a vineyard by image capture date. Additionally, geostatistics were used to model the degree of similarity between blackleaf values as a function of their spatial location. Remote-image analysis indicated a decrease in percent greenness of about 45% between July and August, which was related to a decrease in photosynthesis and an increase in blackleaf symptom expression within the canopy. Examination of full spectral leaf reflectance indicated differences at specific wavelengths for grape leaves exposed to UV or water-deficit stress. This work suggests that remote-image and leaf spectral reflectance analysis may be a strong tool for monitoring changes in metabolism associated with plant stress.
Said Ennahli and Sorkel Kadir
Variability due to soil types, topography, and climate within a vineyard influences grapevine physiological parameters and fruit quality. Technical feasibility of using precision Geographic Information System (GIS) as a viticulture tool to improve vineyard management and increase wine quality will be investigated. The study was conducted in an experimental vineyard where rows consist of plots with 24 cultivars and selections randomly planted and managed similarly. Monitored vineyard parameters collected by Global Positioning System (GPS) location include soil characteristics, soil moisture, vine growth, crop load, and fruit characteristics. Geospatial maps are used to differentiate yield between the cultivars and selections as high, medium, or low. Production was determined from each variety/selection within the vineyard. Yield parameters were number of clusters, cluster weight, and weight of 50 berries; fruit composition (such as pH), titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and anthocyanins were measured. Maps for each factor will be derived via GIS tools and spatial analysis will be conducted to assess which spatial variability factor has more effect on grapevine physiology, yield, and fruit quality. This type of analysis can be used by grape growers to achieve specific wine characteristics in a large or small vineyard by controlling all sources of variability, leading to the ability to perform precision viticulture in the future, with low cost.