Episode 010: From Measurements to Maps

Nebraska Extension Digital Agriculture Author
12/03/2020 Added
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Anyone who has any experience around precision agriculture is familiar with colorful maps that distinguish variability in a field. These maps may express vegetation greenness, crop canopy temperature, soil electrical conductivity (EC), or soil organic matter. But how are these maps produced? Where is the data measured? What sensors collect the data and how do they work? This episode of the FarmBits podcast features Dr. Trenton Franz, an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Research in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Trenton is trained as a hydrogeophysicist, and his research focuses on quantifying soil spatial variability for improving water management efficiency in agricultural production. In his research, Trenton uses a variety of non-contact sensors including neutron and gamma ray sesnors that measure soil properties related to nutrient and water movement. While these sensors may sound like science-fiction instruments, they have actually been used since the 1940s, although their usefulness in agricultural applications is only beginning to be understood. This is one of the challenges that Dr. Trenton Franz is addressing through his research - how can the measurements from these sensors be correlated to useful soil properties that can practically inform decision making for farmers. Trenton will discuss this challenge, the sensors that enable his research, the mathematics behind producing accurate soil property maps, and the properties that most impact crop productivity throughout this episode. Ultimately, this episode will connect the dots between soil property measurements, soil spatial variability maps, and management zones to demonstrate how we get from measurements to maps. Trenton Franz Contact Information: Twitter: @tfranz7070 Website: https://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.aspx?pid=1906 Resources: ESAP Model Sampling Software https://www.ars.usda.gov/pacific-west-area/riverside-ca/agricultural-water-efficiency-and-salinity-research-unit/docs/model/esap-model/ FastTIMES - Engineering and Environmental Geophysics Society Applied Journal https://www.eegs.org/fasttimes  FastTimes - Agricultural Geophysics Special Issue https://app.box.com/s/ids60kr94z19esi48ultsg7gj3iamjtx FarmBits Team Contact Info: E-Mail: farmbits@unl.edu Twitter: @NEDigitalAg Samantha's Twitter: @SamanthaTeten Jackson's Twitter: @jstansell87 Opinions expressed by the hosts and guests on this podcast are solely their own, and do not reflect the views of Nebraska Extension or the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

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