Precision Agriculture: Water and Nutrient Management

Authored by: Robert J. Lascano , Timothy S. Goebel , J.D. Booker

Managing Human and Social Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342682
eBook ISBN: 9781003053514
Adobe ISBN:


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Precision agriculture (PA) refers to the practice of managing agronomic inputs according to specific needs across the landscape. The major impediment to the adoption of PA is the development of decision-support systems that provide guidelines on which, when, and where a specific input should be applied. Research in PA, focusing on factors controlling crop variability, has described useful process relationships, and these results are supporting the development of decision-support systems. An example is the integration of crop simulation models with geographic information data of soil and elevation, real-time weather, and management information systems. Models such as the Precision Agricultural-Landscape Modeling System that can calculate the energy, water, nutrient, and carbon balance across the landscape at a 5–10 m resolution provide the desired integration of field-scale data. These landscape-scale models can provide a decision-support framework to manage agronomic inputs to maximize economic crop yield while minimizing environmental hazards. Adoption of PA will continue to increase given the demand for a safe food and fiber supply of high quality.

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