The Precision Farming Primer    © 1999

GIS Technology and Site-Specific Management in Production Agriculture

  (go to Detailed Table of Contents)   (go to Title Page)

Plow.GIF (89570 bytes)

Foreword by Grant Mangold


Introduction: An Overview of Precision Farming

Topic 1: Continuous Data Logging

GPS positioning and data collection devices "census" crop yield and other factors every few meters throughout a field—deriving yield maps.

Topic 2: Point Sampling

Sampling a variable and spatially interpolating it into a continuous surface matches the data derived in topic 1—deriving soil nutrient maps.

Topic 3: Mapped Data Analysis: Within a Single Map

"Map-ematical" techniques derive spatial relationships within a map generated in topics 1 and 2—deriving farm input/out connections using univariate data.

Topic 4: Mapped Data Analysis: Among Several Maps

"Map-ematical" techniques derive spatial relationships among several maps generated in topics 1 and 2—deriving farm input/out connections using multivariate data.

Topic 5: Modeling Management Actions

The relationship(s) derived in topic 3 determine the appropriate, site-specific management actions—deriving prescription maps.

Topic 6: Understanding GIS

Geographic information systems (GIS) provide the technological "glue" of the precision farming process—organizing mapped data.

Topic 7: Understanding GPS/IDI/RS

The technologies of the global positioning system (GPS), intelligent devices and implements (IDI), and remote sensing provide essential base data—collecting and handling mapped data.

Conclusion: Putting It All Together

Site-specific management is both a technical and a cultural revolution—the human dimensions of hi-tech farming.


Appendix A: The Rest of the Story
Many of the concepts and procedures forming precision farming require further explanation for the techy-types—getting into the details.

Appendix B: Precision Farming Resources (Compiled by G. Mangold)
There is a growing body of knowledge out there—organizations and publications involved in precision farming.

Appendix C: Checklist for Yield Mapping Software
Yield mapping software is at the heart of precision farming—assessing yield mapping software.