Ch 56. Precision Agriculture

Arthur F. Lange and John Peake


Modern agriculture uses the tools of geographic information systems (GISs) and global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) to manage their farms and perform in‐field operations. GIS uses many layers of data‐rich maps to represent fields, including, boundaries, field topography and soil types and farm operations. GNSS position data are used to georeference both the GIS database and the field operation data collection such as soil sampling, planting, applying materials, crop scouting, harvesting, yield assessment, and irrigation. GNSS receivers are used on each vehicle for both controlling the vehicle and providing a geographic referenced data for each field operation. This chapter will describe typical agricultural tasks that rely on GNSS positioning devices and GNSS correction services.

Growers perform many field operations, such as soil sampling, planting, applying agricultural chemicals, and harvesting, which rely on GNSS positioning to create and use the information stored in the user’s farm management database (FMDB). The FMDB ranges from a simple collection of maps for the fields of interest for a small operator, to a full‐blown commercial GIS for a large producer with a large staff. The next sections will discuss several of these agricultural tasks that are made possible by GNSS, and describe some of the more important requirements for GNSS to complete the agricultural task.