WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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5791. Reichenberger, L. and J. Russnogle. 1989. Farming by the foot.. Farm Journal, March 1989, 113(6):11-18.
These articles report on the development of more landscape-intensive crop management in a number of states. Soil variability is a universal fact, and more growers are farming by it rather than field boundaries. Some are using grid systems of 3-10 acres to delineate management units. Computerized fertilizer applicators help make it feasible, as do new technology such as on-the-go nitrate and organic matter read-out, and yield mapping. Montana State Univ. researchers Jeff Jacobsen, Jerry Nielsen, and Pat Carr found yield variations in Montana wheat and barley fields ranging from 25-75 bu/ac in one field, 23-58 in another, and 22-35 in a third one. Each had received a uniform rate of fertilizer. Development of a soil variability map is a first step, and infrared photography can add more detail. Then create a soil management map that includes crop history. Then take soil samples from the management units to develop fertilizer recommendations. The GPS satellite system will enable very precises location in fields for intensive management. Farm machinery moving 7-10 mph would get a reading every 10-20'. Kansas State researchers have developed an on-the-go yield monitor for the combine. University of Nebraska researchers have a machine that recognizes weeds and only sprays herbicide then. Purdue researchers have an organic matter sensor that mounts on a tillage implement.

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