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SOCAP10: Art Lange, Trimble






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SOCAP10: Art Lange, Trimble SOCAP10: Art Lange, Trimble Presentation Transcript

  • Opportunities in Precision Agriculture Arthur Lange, Ph. D. Trimble Navigation, Ltd. SOCAP 2010
  • 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”
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!
  • A few examples: Soil Sensors Soil Moisture Sensor Load Pins
  • Lightbar Guidance Steering Aids with GPS
  • Manual steering
  • Automatic steering
  • Pesticide Applications & Selective Spraying
    • Controlled rate & airflow of spraying
    • Reduced spray on beneficial insects
    • Health effects
    • Long-term environmental effects
    • Discharging spray droplets only on young flush
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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!
  • Thank you!
    • Art Lange, Ph.D.
    • Trimble Navigation, Ltd.
    • [email_address]