Using a Scientific Approach To Increase Rice Crop Yields

The revolution of elections over the last decades has produced two technologies that will impact our agriculture in the next decade. These technologies are GPS and GIS. Along with these technologies are a wide range of sensors, controllers, and monitors for agricultural equipment. Together they enable the farmers to use the electronic guidance aids to direct the movements of the equipment more accurately, analyze all of the data that are associated with the sources of data, and provide precise positioning for all the actions of the equipment and chemical action.

Topcon Precision Agriculture is a business unit of TPS that designs and manufactures precise positioning products and solutions for agriculture. In fact, Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) has designed software for the professional farmer. Topcon Positioning Systems has been supplying the agricultural market with positioning software and hardware technology in the areas of precision land leveling, mapping, water use management, and machine control. This is another step in filling out the Topcon agriculture product portfolio so to provide a complete solution for precision farming. Precision farming is not only thought of as yield mapping and variable rate fertilizer application and then evaluated on only one or the other. Precision farming technologies affect the entire production function of the farm. This kind of farming allows for improved economic analyses. This makes farm planning more complex and easier. There is so much more map date in order to utilize long term cropping plans, salinity controls, and erosion controls. But those farmers who are implementing precision farming are likely working closely with the professionals in the GPS, agricultural, and computing sciences. Precision farming does not happen as soon as the farmers purchase a GPS unit or a yield monitor. It happens as the farmer adopts the new level of management intensity on the rice farm. This includes a better understanding of the types of soils, microclimates, hydrology, and aerial photography. The farmer should identify first the variance of factors within the rice fields that affect the crop yield before the yield map is acquired.

Over the past decades, larger and faster farm machines have delivered the capacity of the farmers to manage the ever-expanding farms. Farmers have the most part to continue to treat large fields into uniform elements. Precision agriculture is actually a cyclic process but a farmer can get started on specific site farming at about any time of the year. Normally, farmers need to perform the annual planning, analyzing steps to complete the precision and data collection. Yield monitoring is possibly the most important foundation of precision agriculture. The modern yield monitor utilizes sensors in a combination with the continuous log grain flow rate during the harvest period. The collected information is then used to precisely evaluate the optimum sowing density, to more accurately predict crop yields, and to estimate fertilizers and other needed inputs. This helps in avoiding unwanted practices to the crop regardless of the local conditions such that it reduces water, labor, pesticides, fertilizers, etc, and more importantly to assure the quality of the rice.