Precision Agriculture

  • AIRSPACES2

    Aerial Imaging and Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture and Environmental Stewardship &
    Air-propelled Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platforms for Assateague Coastline Environmental Studies


  • Precision Agriculture and Remote Sensing

    “Precision Agriculture” is a knowledge-based system that enables farmers to apply precise amounts of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, or other inputs to specific areas where and when they are needed for optimal crop growth. It integrates many advanced engineering technologies, including GPS receivers, GIS data bases, grid sampling/mapping techniques, yield monitors, variable-rate applications and remote sensing imagery. Potentially, these advanced technologies can improve farm profitability, reduce chemical use, and reduce environmental degradation. Environmental concerns and agricultural needs are of critical importance in the rural setting of UMES and its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Governor O'Malley's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan (http://www.baystat.maryland.gov/pdfs/1.pdf) includes recommendations for implementing precision agricultural practices for effective nutrient management on at least 100,000 acres in the state of Maryland in the coming years. Support from the USDA has established the basic foundation for "Precision Agriculture" related infrastructure at UMES, which has provided the launching pad for several related endeavors, including Maryland Space Grant Consortium(MDSGC)/NASA supported synergistic project with the acronym AIRSPACES (Aerial Imaging and Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture and Environmental Stewardship). Precision Agriculture and remote sensing projects at UMES have benefitted from the enthusiastic involvement of students and cross-disciplinary collaboration among faculty in engineering, engineering technology, aviation sciences, agriculture, and natural sciences programs at UMES. Besides undergraduates the research efforts have attracted graduate students in the Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science (MEES), Food Science and Technology (FDST), and Applied Computer Science programs at UMES. Regular discussions and meetings of students, farm personnel, project investigators, and, USDA and NASA collaborators have provided a fertile platform to advance project goals and research endeavors. Ongoing efforts also include support and involvement of Pioneer-Dupont besides USDA and NASA to conduct field experiments using drought tolerant corn seeds to address challenges related to nutrient and water use efficiency, and climate change to cope with food demands of a growing population.