Precision Agriculture and CORS by aah15699


									             Shannon Huber Norwood
        Multi-County Extension Agent
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
   Growers are facing increased input costs
    ◦ nitrogen, fuel
   Labor is becoming harder to find
    ◦ Allows farms to reduce labor needs
   Environmentally friendly
    ◦ Putting inputs precisely where they are needed
   Generate farm specific data to increase
   Yield Monitoring
   Variable Rate Application
    ◦ Fertilizer, plant growth regulators, defoliant
   Sensor Technology
   Remote Sensing
   Guidance
    ◦ Boom control
   Sensors on combine or cotton picker
    determine yield, typically at 1 second
   Controller connects GPS data to sensor data
    allowing for creation of yield map
   Typically use 1m accuracy GPS
   Cotton pickers use light emitters (Ag Leader)
    or microwave technology (John Deere)
   Yield monitors are report cards for farmers
Ultimate goal is a profit map!
   Technology exists to variable rate apply most
    crop inputs:
    ◦ Fertilizer, seed, insecticide, plant growth regulators,
   Fertilizer is probably most frequently applied
    on a variable rate basis
Seeding Prescription Map            Nitrogen Prescription Map
Higher seeding rates under pivot.   Based on multiple years of yield data
   Greenseeker is a commercially available
    product that measures NDVI (Normalized
    Difference Vegetative Index), which basically
    indicates how green the crop is
   Why is this important?
    ◦ Indicator of plant health and growth
   What can we use this for?
    ◦ Nitrogen application was original purpose
   Commercial providers of aerial based NDVI
    and thermal imagery
   In Alabama, primarily for cotton management
   Plant growth regulators and defoliant
‘Scouting’ image   Thermal image
product from       product from
commercial         commercial
vendor             vendor
   3 levels of guidance products
    ◦ Light bar/LCD screen guidance
    ◦ Assisted steer
    ◦ RTK
Runs on chicken nuggets   Runs on baby food and
   & mac-n-cheese              lots of love
   Light bar/LCD screen guidance
    ◦   12” pass-to-pass
    ◦   Burndown of cover crops
    ◦   Pastures
    ◦   Golf course/sod
    ◦   Cost: $1895 - $5000
   Assisted steer
    ◦   4-12” pass-to-pass
    ◦   StarFire 2, OmniStar
    ◦   Spray applications
    ◦   Planting
    ◦   Some products simply attach to steering column
    ◦   Accuracy, but not repeatability
    ◦   $2000 (as an add-on to light bar) and up
   RTK
    ◦   Base station
    ◦   CORS
    ◦   Controlled traffic pattern
    ◦   Controlled tillage
    ◦   Precise input application
   RTK Costs
    ◦ CORS Station: approx. $24,000
    ◦ $22,000 for third party auto-guidance setup
    ◦ $12,000 for third-party base station
      Base station range is approx. 6 miles line of sight
      Line of sight seems to be challenge here (vs. Midwest
       or MS Delta)
      Many farms are spread over large geographic area,
       would require multiple base stations
      Multiple base stations or moving a base station, which
       would require additional labor.
   Sprayer booms are typically 60 or 90 ft.
   Booms can have from 3 – 7 sections
   Boom controls allows individual sections to
    be turned on or off
Guidance – Boom Control

   Top View

 View from behind

                    Slide courtesy Dr John Fulton, AU
   Private company worked with Chris Johnson
    at USSRC and Tennessee Valley Research and
    Extension Center to test use of farm RTK
    equipment using CORS as correction signal
   Two brands of equipment were tested
   Farm in Lawrence County acquired Trimble
    AutoPilot equipment to use with CORS
   This farm is located approx. 27 miles from
   In January, a discussion began between
    Extension PA program and area farmers to
    gauge interest in CORS as a possible
    application for the Conservation Innovation
25 mile radius map
   Farmers inquired about going together to
    purchase a CORS
   DOT was contacted
   Grant money secured from Wheat and Feed
    Grain & Cotton Commission
   Word spreads…9 farms buy into the CORS for
                 Extension System

Department of                           9 farms

                            AL Wheat & Feed
      Lawrence County
                           Grain Producers; AL
     Board of Education
                           Cotton Commission
   Courtland site became operational on
    March 11
Traditional Base Station        CORS
  Line of sight                  Requires cell phone
  Geographic limitations          coverage
    ◦ More base stations          Not compatible with John
    ◦ Move station                 Deere GPS - tractor
    ◦ Some dealers provide         equipped with John Deere
                                   RTK can not use CORS for
   Depending on factory pre-
    installs or current            correction signal
    equipment, it can be          Nice that other
    cheaper to upgrade than        groups/agencies can use
    purchase 3rd party             signal
   Further evaluation of CORS for ag
    ◦ Funded by Alabama Cotton Commission
   Precision Ag Team plans to apply for
    Conservation Innovation Grants in 2009
    ◦ Require farmer cost-share
    ◦ Commercially available technology
    ◦ Further partnership with DOT
   Shannon Huber Norwood
    ◦ 256-412-1696 mobile
    ◦ 256-353-8702 ext. 28
   Amy Winstead
    ◦ 256-443-4752
    ◦ 256-353-8702 ext. 26

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