Abstract

This paper discusses the process of developing variable-rate treatment prescriptions and gives specifications for a prototype software system for implementing that process. The process is based on statistical analysis of data from embedded field trials, and incorporates producer preferences in determining a treatment prescription. The system can be used by researchers in agricultural research stations for developing prescriptions for commercial agricultural producers. The specifications provided are general enough to be implemented using a variety of statistical and database packages that are available to researchers. In addition to these specifications we provide online access to source code for implementing the system in SAS. We use this system to develop treatment prescriptions for a commercial cotton farming operation in northeast Louisiana. The prescriptions are based on data from a precision agriculture experiment conducted in 2006. The objective of that study was to compare the effects of five nitrogen rates on cotton lint yield across several soil types for the purpose of developing a variable-rate nitrogen treatment prescription for future use on that farm. Several possible producer preferences were incorporated with the results of the field trial to produce optional treatment prescriptions for the producer.

Keywords

Precision agriculture, variable-rate treatment, preference specification, relational database, software system, software specifications

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Apr 27th, 9:30 AM

SPECIFICATIONS OF A PROTOTYPE SOFTWARE SYSTEM FOR DEVELOPING VARIABLE-RATE TREATMENT PRESCRIPTIONS FOR USE IN PRECISION AGRICULTURE

This paper discusses the process of developing variable-rate treatment prescriptions and gives specifications for a prototype software system for implementing that process. The process is based on statistical analysis of data from embedded field trials, and incorporates producer preferences in determining a treatment prescription. The system can be used by researchers in agricultural research stations for developing prescriptions for commercial agricultural producers. The specifications provided are general enough to be implemented using a variety of statistical and database packages that are available to researchers. In addition to these specifications we provide online access to source code for implementing the system in SAS. We use this system to develop treatment prescriptions for a commercial cotton farming operation in northeast Louisiana. The prescriptions are based on data from a precision agriculture experiment conducted in 2006. The objective of that study was to compare the effects of five nitrogen rates on cotton lint yield across several soil types for the purpose of developing a variable-rate nitrogen treatment prescription for future use on that farm. Several possible producer preferences were incorporated with the results of the field trial to produce optional treatment prescriptions for the producer.