Using Precision Technology in On-farm Field Trialsto Enable Data Intensive Fertilizer

Grants and Contracts Details


Drs. Ritchey and McGrath will recruit Kentucky farmers to supply fields of approximately 32 hectares where we will conduct nitrogen response trials. University of Kentucky PIfs will work with other project partners to develop the experimental design required to evaluate nitrogen recommendations for these farms. Our goal is to secure one field in 2016 and one additional field in 2017. University of Kentucky personnel will work with project partners in other states to develop nitrogen response trials using the ARC]ESRI extension Enhanced Farm Research Analyst (EFRA) software. The EFRA software works with existing GPS and variable rate application equipment to take control of the fertilizer rate being applied using a laptop computer. Rate response trials will be preprogrammed into this software so that as the farmer drives the spreader across the field the different rates will be applied on]the]go. This allows the farmer to install the experiment with little additional effort. Yield response data will be collected from the plots as the farmer harvest the field using normal harvesting procedures with a combine equipped with GPS and a yield monitor In addition to collecting yield response data to standard flat rate nitrogen application the University of Kentucky will also evaluate normalized differential vegetative index (NDVI) based nitrogen rate algorithms using active optical sensors (e.g. OptRX, GreenSeeker) on project fields. If cooperating farmers have this technology available their equipment will be utilized, otherwise University of Kentucky application or sensing equipment will be used. In addition to coordinating farmer participation, University of Kentucky personnel will collect requisite soil and site data for project objectives. We will map the fields using precision sampling and on]the]go soil electrical conductivity measurement equipment.
Effective start/end date3/1/162/28/18


  • University of Illinois: $46,344.00


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