Project Summaries

12-272  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes


J. Alex Thomasson, Daniel French, Curtis Cribben and Yufeng Ge, Texas AgriLife Research

For well over a decade, researchers have looked into the appropriate application and benefit of site-specific management in cotton production. To date, there are few clear and broadly applicable examples of tried-and-true strategies that regularly provide significant financial or environmental benefit. Often the research has focused on a single input or technology and has not demonstrated how to implement a complete site-specific management system. The research activities for this project were mainly two-fold: (1) conducted a literature review on the site-specific management of cotton production with an emphasis on the cotton yield monitoring technology; and (2) conducted field trials to collect yield data with the cotton yield monitors.

A summary of the literature review indicates that as growing pressure to produce stronger yielding crops emerges there have been several research studies done on ways to measure and create better yielding crops such as cotton. Several studies indicated yield maps could highlight areas of high production or areas that needed extra attention either through additional water, fertilizers, chemicals, etc. The areas could then be managed as sub-units in the field instead of blanket application, in many cases resulting a yield increase. Other studies worked on developing wireless technology to keep track of which module the cotton was being put into and when. The tracking of which module the cotton was placed in allowed for ease in generating profit maps from the yield maps. Overall the success of each study showed that through a combination of several precision agriculture technologies, there are vast opportunities for increased yield and production of cotton.

Field work included installation of a cotton yield monitor on a John Deere 9965 four row picker, which belonged to a local farmer. Yield maps showed a few low-yield bands (perpendicular to the row direction) which corresponded well to the center pivot tracks near the southeast bound of the field. The generally low versus high yield areas indicated by the map were also consistent with the farmer's perception on this field. Additional data collection occurred in 2012, but analysis is still in process.


Project Year: 2012

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