Precision Agriculture and Site-specific management (SSM): a management strategy which addresses within-field variability by optimizing inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers on a point-by-point or small area basis within a field, rather than applying them uniformly across the entire field. Successful implementation of SSM relies on accurate quantification of the spatial variation of important soil and crop factors and their interrelationships. Reduced fertilizer and pesticide applications from increased efficiency will benefit the environment in the long term by reducing the leaching of surplus nitrate - nitrogen (nitrate-N)and other agrochemicals from soil. This will maintain the drinking water standards of Florida's aquifers. Key components of successful SSM are:1. Variable rate technology (VRT)for fertilization, irrigation, and pesticide application.2. Automation of irrigation systems to maximize efficiencies.3. Real-time sensor systems to measure site-specific factors such as water tables, crop yield, crop size, soil properties.Selected relevant publications:Schumann, A.W. and Zaman, Q.U. 2003. Mapping water table depth by electromagnetic induction. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 19 (6): 675-688.Schumann, A.W. and Zaman, Q.U. 2004. Development of a software for real-time ultrasonic mapping of tree canopy size. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 47: 25-40. Schumann, A.W. and Sumner, M.E. 2004. Formulation of environmentally sound waste mixtures for land application. Water Air and Soil Pollution 152 (1-4): 195-217.Schumann, A.W. and Munoz-Carpena, R. 2002. A simple, self-contained canal stage recorder. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 18 (6): 691-696.Schumann, A.W., Miller, W.M., Zaman, Q.U., Hostler, K.H., Buchanon, S., Perkins, G. and Cugati, S. 2005. Variable rate granular fertilization of citrus groves: Spreader performance with single-tree prescription zones. In Proceedings 6th European Precision Agriculture Conference. p 665-673 Schumann, A.W., Hostler, K.H., Miller, W.M., and Zaman, Q.U. 2004. Sensor-based automatic yield monitoring for manually harvested citrus. ASAE Paper No. 041098. St. Joseph, Mich.: ASAE.Zaman, Q.U., Schumann, A.W., and Miller, W.M. 2005 Variable nitrogen application in Florida citrus based on ultrasonically-sensed tree size. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 21(3):331-335.
Keywords: AUTOMATION; BMP; PRECISION; VRT