Vision – VRI/VRP
“Management practices are commonly applied uniformly across a given field. However, if one could easily assess the variability that exists within a given field, management practices could become more site specific. Remote sensing provides rapid acquisition of data that allows one to evaluate the variability that exists across a field.”
--Walter C. Bausch, USDA/ARS
With the various devices of determining the spatial variability within a field in place, the task of assembling these pieces into feasible VRP/VRI maps is at hand. This will be a cooperative effort - each offering expertise within their respective disciplines: Dr. Jeff Willers and Mr. Pat English, MFAES, Mississippi State, have years of experience with remote sensing (aerial/satellite imagery, soil electrical conductivity, etc.) and translating that data into variable rate prescription maps for pesticide applications, variable rate planting, etc. Gabe Moudy and Dr. Guo, South Plains Precision Ag, Plainview, Texas, also have been working with VERIS/EC data, guidance systems, aerial remote sensing for several years, and are now beginning to retrofit center pivot systems for VRI. Mr. Jeff Miller and Dr. Peter Hill, Pioneer Hi-Bred, are working with a few local producers with a variable rate planting program – a Pioneer Hi-Bred pilot program in 2011. AGGEOS, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is a company that has proficiency in rapidly handling massive quantities of data, and transforming that data into a useable format. AGGEOS could potentially be an integral part of the process. Dr. Brent Bean, Texas Agri-Life, Amarillo, Texas, has been active in taking all the above mentioned types of information (generating much of that through his own research) and placing that in the hands of producers, in a timely manner – grass roots kind of thing. Brent will be ‘looking over our shoulder’ as we attempt to make variable rate planting and irrigation something very practical and well-organized for area producers.