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Site-specific Farming

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture, or site-specific farming, is:

“a system to better manage farm resources. Precision farming is an information and technology based management system now possible because of several technologies currently available to agriculture. These include global positioning systems, geographic information systems, yield monitoring devices, soil, plant and pest sensors, remote sensing, and variable rate technologies for application of inputs.” (NESPAL, Tifton GA)

This information and technology for site-specific farming allows farmers to identify, analyze, and manage the spatial and temporal variability of soil and plants for optimum profitability, sustainability, and protection of the environment.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful information technology for analysis and management of spatial data and mapping. Remote Sensing (RS) to identify and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to locate and define spatial features or activities contribute to the quality of site-specific practices. Variable Rate Technology (VRT) allows targeted, site-specific input applications. Yield monitoring records crop productivity as an historical database for crop management. Emerging precision agriculture technologies rely heavily on GIS/GPS/RS/VRT and monitoring.

The Offer

Jefferson County farmers and ranchers who are interested in mapping their fields can arrange that with me, Larry Halsey. I have begun a service of field fertility mapping using soil sample analysis. If you are willing to pay lab analysis fees, call me.

Typically, you should take a sample per acre for high value crops such as vegetables, sod and nursery stock. Cotton, corn, peanuts and other row crops would require a sample per 2-4 acres, and hay or pasture could be mapped using one sample per 5-8 acres.

Soil Test  fees at the University of Florida are $7.00 for routine analysis and an additional $5.00 for micronutrients.  If you prefer a private lab, you can arrange delivery of samples to the lab, and we can map those results.

Permanent link to this article: http://jefferson.ifas.ufl.edu/ag/site-specific-farming/