January 2022 - 36

Table 1. Specific gravity from different areas of the fields irrigated
with VRI systems. Numbers followed by different letters mean
significant difference at p<0.05.
Specific gravity
Area of the field
Nozzle control VRI
Dry
Average
Wet
1.077 A
1.081 A
1.069 B
the driest area was higher than those in
the average and wettest areas.
Our data suggested that:
* A big benefit of using VRI is to
improve yield and quality, therefore to
potentially improve the profitability in
the direst (or the high run-off) area of a
field that is more vulnerable to underirrigation.
VRI is able to maintain soil
moisture within the rooting zone of
the plants;
* VRI can save irrigation water and
Speed control VRI
1.073 a
1.068 a
1.068 a
improve irrigation efficiency in the
low area of a field that tends to be
wet
or saturated. However
even
under VRI, managing potato yield
and quality in the low area is still
challenging, since plants tend to have
more rotting and defect issues;
* VRI is a promising system to save
water while improving potato
profitability, but further fine-tuning
is needed to better manage it on fields
with variability.
REMOTE SENSING AND
MACHINE LEARNING
To maintain yield and profitability,
potato farmers must satisfy the need
of the crops for nitrogen. To minimize
environmental degradation and
decrease the financial risks associated
with regulatory and legal uncertainty
surrounding nitrate in groundwater,
potato farmers need new management
tools to help them apply the right
amount of nitrogen at the right time
throughout the growing season.
Commonly used methods of
monitoring in-season potato plant
nitrogen status are labor-intensive, timeconsuming,
sometimes misleading, and
are only site-specific within the field. In
addition, there are no publicly available
tools that generate whole field maps to
predict in-season plant nitrogen status
and end-of-season tuber yield using
remote sensing imagery.
Remote sensing is
an
innovative,
timely, non-destructive and spatially
comprehensive
approach to improve
existing in-season crop production
management practices. Remote sensing
typically provides several narrow spectral
34
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