Identifier

etd-08172004-130755

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Agricultural Economics

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This thesis examines the use of Precision Agriculture technologies to define Management Zones within a multicrop production system. It further evaluates the economic feasibility of implementing spatially variable insecticide applications against conventional blanket treatments with respect to insect pest management in cotton production. The use of geographical information systems was critical in the development of the different yield maps established to determine the level of consistency of management zones across crops over time. Several important concepts, such as data normalization, yield grid maps, inverse distance weighted and stability, were introduced throughout this research to: set the scale of measures to the same basis, facilitate comparison across crops, manipulate the data, and establish a level of confidence, respectively, concerning the use of management zones in crop production. Furthermore, the basic notion behind this study was that if fields can be divided into high/low yielding management zones, the use of variable rate technology, through an ON/OFF prescription application, offers the potential to reduce costs and increase productivity of the field. The capital recovery method was used to evaluate the per acre cost of investing in a precision farming system for gathering site-specific information and performing SVI applications. Results from this study show that the use of yield-based management zones can reveal annual cost reductions and increased profitability for the producer.

Date

2004

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

John V. Westra

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