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Precision Ag Glossary

Global positioning system (GPS)

A key technology in precision farming. GPS is a network of government-controlled satellites used to help determine a radio receiverís position in latitude, longitude and altitude.

Remote Sensing

A group of techniques for collecting detailed, high resolution information about crops and soils, typically from very long distances.  Aerial photography or satellite images are the most common methods.

Geographic information system (GIS)

A system, usually computer-based, for the input, storage, retrieval, and display of geographic data: The GIS database typically contains layered information on land elevation, land use, land ownership, crop yield, soil nutrient levels and more.

Instantaneous yield monitoring

Measures and records harvest yields on-the-go, using sensors to track volume or weigh the crop. Many monitors also measure moisture content of grain. These provide data for site-specific yield maps.

Site-specific crop management (SSCM)

The use of variability in soil and crop parameters to decide the precise application of inputs, such as chemicals.

Variable rate application (VRA)

Adjusting the amount of inputs, such as seed, fertilizer, herbicide and pesticides, to match soil conditions within a field.

Electroconductivity maps

  • Sensors measure electromagnetic conductivity within the top soil and a map is produced from those readings.
  • down to one meter in accuracy
  • detailing characteristics such as high salt levels, soil depth, differing layers of soil, water content and how well water is recharged into the soil.

Source: Deere & Company, U of M Precision Agriculture Center.

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Updated April 18, 2004