Precision agriculture technologies have been successfully applied in a number of U.S. crop production systems over the past few decades ( Gebbers and Adamchuk, 2010 ). Early applications focused on yield monitors and global positioning satellite
R. Karina Gallardo, Kara Grant, David J. Brown, James R. McFerson, Karen M. Lewis, Todd Einhorn, and Mario Miranda Sazo
Gary T. Roberson
Precision agriculture is a comprehensive system that relies on information, technology and management to optimize agricultural production. While used since the mid-1980s in agronomic crops, it is attracting increasing interest in horticultural crops. Relatively high per acre crop values for some horticultural crops and crop response to variability in soil and nutrients makes precision agriculture an attractive production system. Precision agriculture efforts in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University are currently focused in two functional areas: site-specific management and postharvest process management. Much of the information base, technology, and management practices developed in agronomic crops have practical and potentially profitable applications in fruit and vegetable production. Mechanized soil sampling, pest scouting and variable rate control systems are readily adapted to horticultural crops. Yield monitors are under development for many crops that can be mechanically harvested. Investigations have begun to develop yield monitoring capability for hand harvested crops. Postharvest controls are widely used in horticultural crops to enhance or protect product quality.
Gary T. Roberson
Precision agriculture is a comprehensive system that relies on information, technology, and management to optimize agricultural production. While used for several years in agronomic crops, it is attracting increasing interest in horticultural crops. Relatively high per-acre crop values for some horticultural crops makes precision agriculture an attractive production system. Precision agriculture efforts in biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State Univ. are currently focused in two functional areas: site specific managment (SSM) and postharvest process managment (PPM). Much of the information base, technology, and management practices developed in agronomic crops have practical and potentially profitable applications in fruit and vegetable production. Mechanized soil sampling, and variable rate control systems are readily adapted to horticultural crops. Postharvest controls are widely used to enhance or protect product quality. These technologies and their applications will be discussed in this presentation. Yield monitors are under development for many crops that can be mechanically harvested. An overview of these developments will be discussed. In addition, low-cost technologies for entry into precision will be presented.
Todd Rosenstock and Patrick Brown
Alternate bearing exerts economic and environmental consequences through unfulfilled yield potential and fertilizer runoff, respectively. We will discuss a systematic biological–statistical modeling management integration approach to address the concert of mechanisms catalyzing alternate bearing. New engineering technologies (precision harvesting, spatially variable fertigation, and mathematical crop modeling) are enabling optimization of alternate bearing systems. Four years of harvest data have been collected, documenting yield per tree of an 80-acre orchard. These results have shown variability within orchard to range from 20–180 lbs per tree per year. Results indicate irregular patterns not directly correlated to previous yield, soil, or tissue nutrient levels, or pollen abundance. Nor does significant autocorrelation of high or low yields occur throughout the orchard, suggesting that genetically dissimilar rootstocks may have significant impact. The general division of high- and low-yielding halves of the orchard may infer a biotic incongruency in microclimates. This orchard does not display a traditional 1 year-on, 1 year-off cyclic pattern. Delineation of causal mechanisms and the ability to manage effectively for current demands will empower growers to evaluate their fertilization, irrigation, male: female ratio, site selection, and economic planning. In comparison to annual crops, the application of precision agriculture to tree crops is more complex and profitable. When applied in conjunction, the aforementioned methods will have the ability to forecast yields, isolate mechanisms of alternate bearing, selectively manage resources, locate superior individuals, and establish new paradigms for experimental designs in perennial tree crops.
Douglas C. Sanders
The diversity of site-specific management opportunities is demonstrated by the list of topics and speakers we have in the colloquium. These techniques will help use to better understand, adapt, and adjust horticultural management to the benefit of producers, researchers, and the consumer. With these technologies we will be able to reduce costs, environmental impacts, and improve production, and quality. Horticulture will use more both remote and manually operated devices that allow more intensive planning and management of our production systems. This colloquium has just scratched the surface of the potential of these techniques in horticulture. We hope that the sampling will whet your appetite for great depth of study of the opportunities that are just around the corner.
Arnold W. Schumann
Precision agriculture (PA), as the name implies, is useful technology for growing and fertilizing horticultural crops more precisely or efficiently, thereby retaining water and nutrients in the root zone. Three techniques with which PA can help
Babak Talebpour, Maksut Barış Eminoğlu, Uğur Yegül, and Ufuk Türker
orchards. PhD Diss. University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy McBratney, A.B. Whelan, B.M. 1999 The null hypothesis of precision agriculture, p. 947–956. In J.V. Stafford (ed.). 2nd European conference on precision agriculture. Sheffield Academic Press
Jean-Pierre Goffart, Marguerite Olivier, and Marc Frankinet
. 2002 Hydro-N-Sensor: Tractor-mounted remote sensing for variable nitrogen fertilization 1012 1018 Robert P.C. Precision agriculture Proc. 6th Intl. Conf. Precision Agr. Other Precision Res. Mgt. Minneapolis, MN Machet, J.M. Dubrulle, P. Damay, N. Duval
Giovanni Piccinni, Jonghan Ko, Thomas Marek, and Daniel I. Leskovar
Agricultural water users must plan an annual water budget in arid to subhumid areas where water use is regulated as a result of ecological protection programs, limited resources, and competitive demand ( Barrett, 1999 ). Determining crop water
James A. Hardin, Michael W. Smith, Paul R. Weckler, and Becky S. Cheary
precision agriculture practices in pecan production. Much of the N in a leaf is partitioned in chlorophyll; thus, a sensor that measures chlorophyll can often be used to quantify the amount of N in a leaf ( Filella et al., 1995 ). The basis for most optical