Precision Agriculture In Louisiana Moves Forward

Louisiana State University Ag Center Research and Extension personnel recently characterized sources of variability within cotton fields consisting of delta alluvial soil and loess soils on the Macon Ridge by using tools such as the Veris cart for measuring apparent electrical conductivity (ECa), real time kinematic geographical position systems (RTK GPS), and normalized vegetative index (NDVI).

During the past five years, the research and extension teams have worked under grant support from multiple agencies including NASA, Regions 6 EPA of Dallas, and Cotton Incorporated. These sponsorships, geo-spatial tools and their complimentary GIS programs were primarily used to evaluate the potential to use site specific aerial and ground treatments for pest management. However, interactions with nematodes, soil pH and nutrient deficiencies and site-specific application of .fumigation treatments were also evaluated. Movement patterns of plant bugs and cucumber beetles were evaluated to a limited degree.

Most recently the groups have applied their GIS/GPS knowledge to enhance nematode sampling for sweet potato production. There is limited research of this type for Louisiana producers. However, interim studies suggest use of GIS/GPS techniques has the potential to help sweet potato producers fine tune lime and fertilize treatments and also provide relief from costly blanket applications of nematicide treatments; both major expenses incurred in sweet potato production. A limiting factor for further work is the lack of yield monitoring equipment that can aid in on-farm evaluations.

For sweet potato producers, zone management strategies similar to the methods used in the delta since 2001 were modified for use as sample plans. The Veris cart provides a method of separating fields into low — high silt and clay content, because Veris ECa has a very high positive correlation to clay content. Because of the narrow range of electrical conductivity measured in the loess soil regions of the Macon Ridge, three ECa zones are typically used when sample plans and site-specific treatment programs for nematodes are needed.

When root-knot nematodes were the principal nematode pest, site-specific application of fumigation treatments based on the amount of clay content within zones is possible. However, the major nematode pest in most sweet potato fields is reniform sp. Because reniform sp. tolerates a broader range of soil clay content as compared to root-knot nematode, one acre grids were also used in developing sample plans and site-specific application plans.

The grids serve to organize placement of the GPS sample points and organize the soil sampling procedure into a combination of scientific and subjective techniques. Sample plans were developed in ArcGis 9.1. Surface interpolation was accomplished using Inverse Distance Weighting, contour feature classes within zones were labeled, and GPS points were manually placed in order to represent the dominate feature/soil type within a respective grid. When possible, equal numbers of soil samples are collected from each Veris’ ECa zone. For the fine loess soils these methods are adequate for analyzing nematode pest densities and soil fertility as well.

The LSU AgCenter Precision Agriculture teams that conducted the above studies were awarded the Tipton team research award in recognition for excellence in research in 2007. Since then the group has launched new research initiatives including studies with Veris NIR sensors and GreenSeeker sensors. The LSU AgCenter’s Cooperative Extension Service has reacted to the increased need for Precision Agriculture education by providing increased GIS/GPS training and responsibility to a select group of County Agents in each of the major agriculture producing regions.

Farmers in Louisiana, especially in the delta parishes have invested in GIS/GPS technology as well. John Deere, Ag Leader and Trimble all have a significant presence in their respective areas of service to precision agriculture. It is rare to find a harvest machine without a yield monitor and most of the tractors used in row crops are equipped with auto-steering devices. Many of the farmers recognize the advantages of using Veris ECa data to complement USDA soil survey data.

One of the newest efforts to increase the use of Precision Agriculture technology is the construction of a RTK network for the delta parishes. The network serves six stores owned by Goldman Equipment and ranges from MerRouge, LA through St. Joseph, LA. The network is reported to have increased RTK reception for selected areas up to 18 miles and has improved reception around the many tall trees that can easily knock out the RTK signal.

All in all Louisiana seems to be looking forward to the future of agriculture and that includes using Precision Agriculture methods.

Leave a Reply

PrecisionAg Institute Stories
WinField’s Joel Wipperfurth On Empowering Data-Driven Decisions
InfoAg ConferenceOne on One with Joel Wipperfurth, Winfield United
August 15, 2018
Winfield United's Joel Wipperfurth discusses ag technology trends and topics during last month’s InfoAg Conference. Read More
1 On 1 With Paul Schrimpf: Simplot’s Allan Fetters
PrecisionAg InstituteOne on One With Simplot’s Allan Fetters
August 8, 2018
Allan Fetters of PrecisionAg Institute partner Simplot Grower Solutions talks about techology trends and key learnings from the recent InfoAg Conference in this exclusive interview with PrecisionAg's Paul Schrimpf. Read More
PrecisionAg InstitutePrecisionAg Institute Whitepaper Library
August 1, 2018
Welcome to the PrecisionAg Institute Whitepaper library! Here you will find free whitepapers and case studies from the PrecisionAg Institute Partners Read More
Excellence AwardsPassion for Teaching: Purdue’s Bruce Erickson
August 1, 2018
PrecisionAg Award of Excellence recipient Bruce Erickson is driven to share his knowledge of precision technologies and techniques with students, as well as the larger agriculture community. Read More
Trending Articles
Data ManagementAre You Using Your Soil to Its Full Potential?
September 14, 2018
Harvest is progressing across most parts of the U.S. and those growers who aren’t already harvesting are gearing up to Read More
Imagery/SensingAgtech: 10 Things I Hate About You!
September 4, 2018
Before you get bent out of shape from the title, remember if you’ve read my articles before you know I Read More
Kansas State University
Industry NewsKansas State University, Topcon Form Precision Ag Research Partnership
August 30, 2018
Kansas State University and Topcon Agriculture are collaborating to develop tools and systems to advance precision agriculture and support farmers. Read More
Blockchain building block graphic
Specialty CropsIs Blockchain the Future of Food Safety?
August 24, 2018
When the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized in 1982, permitting the worldwide proliferation of interconnected networks and eventually the Read More
WinField’s Joel Wipperfurth On Empowering Data-Driven Decisions
InfoAg ConferenceOne on One with Joel Wipperfurth, Winfield United
August 15, 2018
Winfield United's Joel Wipperfurth discusses ag technology trends and topics during last month’s InfoAg Conference. Read More
Industry NewsUrtheCast to Acquire Geosys from Land O’Lakes in $20 Million Deal
August 15, 2018
UrtheCast Corp. and Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced they have entered a binding term sheet for the purchase of Geosys Read More
Latest News
AmericasFarmers Edge Announces New Retail-Facing Precision Ag P…
September 25, 2018
Farmers Edge announced the launch of a new solution designed exclusively for agricultural professionals to enhance their relationships with customers Read More
EventsAgricultural Robotics Take Center Stage at FIRA 2018
September 24, 2018
The future of agricultural innovation will continue to rely heavily on collaboration and exchange of ideas among all industry players. Read More
Corn field sunset
Decision Support SoftwareLand O’Lakes SUSTAIN Launches Ambitious Digital S…
September 24, 2018
Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN today announced its plan to roll out the Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive on-farm digital platform that Read More
Business ManagementIvy Tech, Farmers Partner to Help Precision Ag Educatio…
September 20, 2018
Harvest time has taken on a new meaning for some Wabash Valley farmers, and Bobbi Hunt-Kincaid hopes her family’s first Read More
Sensors/IoTThe Answer to Agriculture’s Daunting Challenges – Soil …
September 20, 2018
According to the United Nations, 9.6 billion people will live on planet Earth by 2050. Feeding these mouths will require Read More
Data ManagementRainfall Revisited: Accurate Observations and Beyond
September 18, 2018
As a provider of weather analysis and forecast services to the agricultural industry, one of the most common questions I Read More
Business ManagementWhy Is Funding a Challenge for Women-Led Agtech Compani…
September 17, 2018
When it comes to women-led agtech companies the funding discussion never seems to cease. In June after the The New Read More
Mobile Phone in field
Decision Support SoftwareWhy Are 570 Million Farmers Not Yet Using Agricultural …
September 17, 2018
Until recently, using agricultural apps and software was a rare practice among growers. This is now changing. The mass adoption Read More
Data ManagementAre You Using Your Soil to Its Full Potential?
September 14, 2018
Harvest is progressing across most parts of the U.S. and those growers who aren’t already harvesting are gearing up to Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsDeere-Granular Collaboration Produces New Profit Maps T…
September 14, 2018
The newest development from the ongoing John Deere-Granular product development and marketing collaboration is Profit Maps, now available to farmers Read More
DronesOpinion: Combining Two Pluses with the WingtraOne UAV
September 13, 2018
For the every-day consumer interested in UAVs, there is an ocean of products from which to choose. This includes the Read More
AsiaShould Agri-Input Manufacturers Outsource E-Commerce to…
September 12, 2018
Editor’s note: Venky Ramachandran is a contributing writer for’s sister site, This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Now, Read More
Industry NewsValley Irrigation Adds Remote Irrigation Management Opt…
September 11, 2018
Valley Irrigation, an industry leader in smart irrigation solutions, has announced enhancements to its remote management technologies. Multi-Year Licensing In Read More
Variable Rate ApplicationVariable Rate Fertigation System Expands with Mobile Co…
September 10, 2018
Building on the success of its Reflex Variable Rate Fertigation system, Agri-Inject has taken fluid injection to the next level Read More
Industry NewsTeralytic Earns Ag Data Transparent Certification
September 10, 2018
Soil analytics company Teralytic has completed the Ag Data Transparent certification, affirming that their data use is private, secure, and Read More
Business ManagementTop 20 Two-Year Colleges for Precision Agriculture
September 10, 2018
Earlier this year, I compiled a list of the 25 best colleges for precision agriculture. It was quite the process. Read More
Industry NewsRaven, Topcon Announce Slingshot API Agreement
September 6, 2018
Raven Industries and Topcon Agriculture announced today a licensing agreement for Topcon Agriculture’s use of the Slingshot Application Programming Interface Read More
Tablet Grower
Data ManagementThe Power of Predictive Analytics in Agriculture
September 5, 2018
Years ago if we would have been told computers, data, and technology would be scattered around every farm there may Read More