SOCAP10: Art Lange, Trimble

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SOCAP10: Art Lange, Trimble

  1. 1. + Opportunities in Precision Agriculture Arthur Lange, Ph. D. Trimble Navigation, Ltd. SOCAP 2010
  2. 2. + What is Precision Agriculture? Official definition: “Information-based input management techniques for maximizing yield and profit” Emerging new definition: “Applying the right input at the right location to result in the most yield & profit and least environmental impact” 2
  3. 3. + What’s the need?  Inherent variability in agriculture – Mother Nature!  Infinite, diverse species  Pests and disease  Soil conditions  Weather  Moisture  Water scarcity  Rise in input costs: labor, fuel, nutrients  Need to minimize chemicals & toxins for public health + environmental sustainability  Population growth 3
  4. 4. + Solution: Precision Agriculture  More accurate Sensors of:  Moisture in soil  Nutrients in soil  Disease  More accurate Applications of:  Water  Fertilizers  Preventative medicine  More accurate Planting & Harvesting:  Right species in appropriate soil  “Multi-crop mono-crop”  Efficient candy-picking for readiness  Reduced labor costs:  Less labor needed w/ automated machinery  Less skilled labor needed w/ sophisticated guidance tools 4
  5. 5. + How is this done? Common Technologies in PA  GPS  Automated machinery & mechanisms  Remote & wireless sensors  Aerial sensors  Centralized field servers  Companion software analysis tools  Granular applicators  MIX & MATCH! 5
  6. 6. + A few examples: Soil Sensors 6 Soil Moisture SensorLoad Pins
  7. 7. + Lightbar Guidance Steering Aids with GPS 7
  8. 8. + Manual steering 8
  9. 9. + Automatic steering 9
  10. 10. + Pesticide Applications & Selective Spraying 10 • Controlled rate & airflow of spraying • Reduced spray on beneficial insects • Health effects • Long-term environmental effects • Discharging spray droplets only on young flush
  11. 11. + Incentives to Adopt PA  Smaller farms  Compete with larger farms with economies of scale  Larger farms  Greatly reduce environmental impact  All farms  Reduce input costs  Optimize use of natural resources  Get quick ROI  Technology costs coming down  Easily track:  All commodities  Pesticide & fertilizer use  Environmental compliance  All farming activities 11
  12. 12. + Fundamental Constraints Slow growth of support services, especially data analysis High opportunity cost in farmers’ mind: “I didn’t get into farming to sit at a computer” Information-intensive PA can be slow to adopt (vs embedded knowledge PA) 12
  13. 13. + Some new innovations…  Small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)  Remote controlled small ‘plane’ w/ camera sensors  Disease detection before human eye is able  Accurate identification of harvest-ready plants  ~ $2-3k, affordable!  Developed by Univ. of Florida, Ag & Bio Engineering  Soil & topology information (STI)  Electromagnetic radar with automatic sampling  Precise 4’ deep physical and chemical makeup of soil  One-time cost affordable to all size farms  Developed by STI, LLC 13
  14. 14. + More breatkthroughs coming… More capable Sensors  Soil Organic matter (for VR seeding)  Essential nutrient measurement  Disease scouting  Easy data transfer (Network Communications)  Lower cost A lot of opportunity in Precision Agriculture for both small and large farms! 14
  15. 15. + Thank you! Art Lange, Ph.D. Trimble Navigation, Ltd. Art_Lange@Trimble.COM 15

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