January 2022 - 34

The Potato Association of America mission statement: The PAA and
its allied associations must strongly support the private sector through
Extension, research and commercialization efforts aimed at enhancing
the role of the potato as the premier food source for the 21st century.
Using precision agriculture
practices in potato production
By Yi Wang
Potato Association of America
A
ccording to the International
Society of Precision Agriculture,
" precision agriculture (PA) is
a management strategy that gathers,
processes and analyzes temporal, spatial
and individual data and combines it
with other information to support
management decisions according to
estimated variability for improved
resource use efficiency, productivity,
quality, profitability and sustainability
of agricultural production. "
In other words, PA provides the
possibility to do the right thing, in the
right place, at the right time and in the
right way.
High-value crops like potatoes are
recognized as good candidates for the
adoption of PA because of the high cost
of inputs. In addition, the sensitivity
of potato tuber yield and quality to
production practices and environmental
conditions makes precision management
economically critical.
Precision
agriculture
practices
involve more precise seeding, irrigation,
fertilization, and pesticide use in order
to optimize crop production for the
purpose of increasing grower revenue
and reducing the impact of agriculture
on the environment simultaneously.
In this article, we will discuss the use
of PA practices, such as variable rate
irrigation and remote sensing, in potato
production.
VARIABLE RATE IRRIGATION
The variable rate irrigation (VRI)
technology applies water at variable
rates rather than one uniform rate
32
Spudman.com
Figures 1a and 1b. Total yield from different areas of the fields
irrigated with VRI systems. Bars with different letters means the
numbers are significantly different at p<0.05.
Figure 1a. Nozzle control VRI
600
500
400
300
200
100
513
492
A
A
355
B
Dry Average Wet
along the length of the center pivot.
There are two steps to apply the VRI:
firstly, based on soil electrical
conductivity (EC) or elevation mapping,
the
field
is
divided
into
different
management zones; secondly, the
system applies specific amount of water
on different management zones by
turning on and off individual nozzles
(nozzle control VRI) or controlling
the moving speed of the pivot (speed
control VRI). VRI can apply water at
differing rates to different crops or
cultivars, varying soil types, high runoff
areas or low areas prone to getting
wet and saturated, and environmentally
sensitive areas within the field. The
overarching goal of VRI is to avoid overand
under-irrigation so no water is
wasted and no water stress occurs, while
crop yield and quality are maintained
or increased.
Figure 1b. Speed control VRI
600
500
400
300
200
100
406
a
334
a
353
a
Dry Average Wet
In the summer of 2018, we conducted a
study to quantify the benefits of using VRI
on commercial potato (Russet Burbank)
production in Wisconsin. We picked
two fields irrigated with nozzle control
VRI and speed control VRI respectively.
In each field, there was about 15 feet
elevation difference between the highest
and lowest areas. At harvest, we evaluated
tuber yield and quality of the driest
area, the most representative/average
area, and the wettest area of each field.
Under nozzle control VRI (Figure 1a),
there was a significant yield reduction
(about 140 cwt/a, p<0.05) in the wettest
area compared to the average area. Yield
from the driest area was slightly higher
(about 20 cwt/a, p>0.05) than that from
the average area. Under speed control
VRI (Figure 1b), there was not any
significant yield difference between the
three locations, although the number in
Cwt/acre
Cwt/acre
http://www.Spudman.com

January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2022

January 2022 - 1
January 2022 - 2
January 2022 - 3
January 2022 - 4
January 2022 - 5
January 2022 - 6
January 2022 - 7
January 2022 - 8
January 2022 - 9
January 2022 - 10
January 2022 - 11
January 2022 - 12
January 2022 - 13
January 2022 - 14
January 2022 - 15
January 2022 - 16
January 2022 - 17
January 2022 - 18
January 2022 - 19
January 2022 - 20
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January 2022 - 33
January 2022 - 34
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January 2022 - 40
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January 2022 - 42
January 2022 - 43
January 2022 - 44
January 2022 - 45
January 2022 - 46
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