Course code LauZ5130

Credit points 3

Precision Agriculture I

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes24

Independent study hours72

Date of course confirmation22.03.2011

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developers

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Gundega Putniece

Dr. agr.

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Dainis Lapiņš

Dr. agr.

Course abstract

Principles of precision agricultural and field cultivation, their division. Principles and applications of Global Positioning (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS), types of coordinates and maps. Sensors, aerial photos, drones, mobile devices. Research of the phytosanitary conditions of areas, optimization of plant protection technologies, and assessment of the weeds of the sown areas. Soil sampling, sowing condition study, technology optimization according to agrochemical parameters. Yield maps, their extraction technology, creation and analysis. Basic principles of the research of the factors determining yield differences. Knowledge’s of global positioning technologies on the farm. Specialized computer programs for field cultivation. Handheld operating principles, polygon surveying and data transferring to software. As well as point transfer to a handheld computer and point finding in field conditions.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Postgraduate students gain in-depth knowledge of precision field cultivation principles to use in highly developed companies.
Master students acquire skills of working with mobile GPS units and specialized computer programs, compiling variants of technology difference maps, developing elementary yield-affecting modules in MS Excel and evaluating their economic justification.
As a result, Master students are competent to apply the acquired knowledge of GPS and GIS capabilities in production and/or consultancy work and/or scientific research, to implement and use precision field cultivation technology techniques, to study and analyze scientific and other literature, to discuss study topics.

Visiting lecturers and visiting farms and/or firms are invited for a better study course for lectures and practical work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Precision agriculture, its division.
2. Precision field cultivation and its basic principles.
3. Principles and application of Global Positioning (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). Satellite system as a basis for coordinate determination, possible sources of error.
4. Coordinates: polar, orthogonal and geographical coordinate systems. Three-dimensional coordinates of areas, their use. Topographic map, representation and application.
5. Yield maps, their extraction technology, production and data analysis.
Test No 1. Test on previously acquired topics (point 1 to 5).

6. Color sensors, sensors for soil moisture and soil agrophysical properties, etc. Aerial photo. Drons. Mobile equipment.
1. Investigation of plant health conditions in the area. Optimization of plant protection technologies.
2. Aassessments of the weeds of the sown areas.
3. Soil sampling. Study of sown conditions. Optimization of technologies according to agrochemical indicators.
4. Research on soil conditions. Optimization of soil tillage technologies.
5. Principles of studying the factors determining yield differences. Performing technological process control with GPS and GIS. Knowledge’s of GPS technologies on the farm.
Test No 2. Test on previously acquired topics (point 6 to 11).

12. Color balance - analysis of soil color.
13. Specialized computer programs for determination of plant parameters.
14. Pocket PC operating principles. Handheld landfill survey and software transfer. Grating and scoring. Transfer of dots to a handheld. Finding points in the field with a handheld.
15. Application of specialized computer programs in precision crop cultivation.
16. Excursion to get acquainted with the experience of farms or companies in the acquisition of precise crop cultivation technologies.
17. Visiting lecturer's visit to the field of precision agriculture.

Test No 3. Test on previously acquired topics (point 12 to 17).

Requirements for awarding credit points

Three test papers should be written with a mark after mastering certain topics. Each test consists of five theoretical questions.
Short (5 min.) homework should be prepared and presented orally, which is presented to the group in the appropriate theme lesson.
A report on the selected topic should be written from the list provided by the lecturer and presented orally in the group relevant topic during the lesson.
Written exam at the end of the course.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The homework should be prepared using the results of a research on the topic in at least one (maximum three) scientific articles obtained in different climatic and/or soil conditions and published in an international journal. Reporting time 5 min.
Report of 14 pages (Word format) should be written using research results on the selected topic. Scientific articles published in international journals, collections of international conference proceedings, or monographs. Reporting time up to 15 min.
Preparing for tests.

Literature studies.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The evaluation of the study course exam depends on the evaluation of the exam answers and the cumulative evaluation of the course tests and home work.
Students who have at least 7 marks in the test and report on this course may pass the written exam and get the arithmetic mean of the marks in the course.
In order to be able to pass the exam, all papers marked with a mark must pass at least 4 points. Unsuccessful jobs must be retried until positive.

Test and report are graded on a 10-point scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Lapiņš D., Kažotnieks J. (2002). Laukkopība. Ozolnieki: LLKC. 247 lpp.
2. Srinivasan A. (2006). Handbook of Precision Agriculture Principles and Applications. London: Oxford. 683 p. ISBN-13: 978-1-56022-954-4
3. Stūrmanis E. (2006). Ģeoinformācijas sistēmas. Jelgava: LLU, RTU. 90. lpp.

4. Vilde A., Ruciņš Ā., Viesturs D. (2008). Globālās pozicionēšanas tehnoloģijas lauksaimniecībā. Jelgava: LLU. 47 lpp.

Further reading

1. An International Journal on Advances in Precision Agriculture. Available from 1999 till 2019. ISSN: 1385-2256
2. Book of Abstracts of all the posters. The 12th European Conference on Precision Agriculture. July 8 - 11, 2019, Montpellier: France. 203 p. ISBN 978-2-900792-49-0
3. Burrough P. A., McDonnell R. A., Lloyd C. D. (2015). Principles of Geographical Information Systems. Third edition. Oxford University press. 352 p.
4. Stafford J. V. (2013). Precision agriculture ’13. Conference Proceedings. 824 p. ISBN 978-90-8686-224-5
5. Stafford J. V. (2015). Precision agriculture ’15. Conference Proceedings. 752 p. ISBN 978-90-8686-267-2

6. Stafford J. V. (2019). Precision agriculture ’19. Conference Proceedings. 1030 p. ISBN 978-90-8686-337-2

Periodicals and other sources

Zinātniskie žurnāli un rakstu krājumi, kas pieejami LLU FB abonētajās datu bāzēs, piemēram: Agricultural Systems, Research for Rural Development, Latvian Journal of Agronomy, Proceedings of the Latvia University of Agriculture, Rural Sustainability Research, Soil and Tillage Research utt. - atbilstoši tematikai. Datortehnikas un datorprogrammu lietošanas instrukcijas.

Notes

Principles of precision agricultural and field cultivation, their division. Principles and applications of Global Positioning (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS), types of coordinates and maps. Sensors, aerial photos, drones, mobile devices. Research of the phytosanitary conditions of areas, optimization of plant protection technologies, and assessment of the weeds of the sown areas. Soil sampling, sowing condition study, technology optimization according to agrochemical parameters. Yield maps, their extraction technology, creation and analysis. Basic principles of the research of the factors determining yield differences. Knowledge’s of global positioning technologies on the farm. Specialized computer programs for field cultivation. Handheld operating principles, polygon surveying and data transferring to software. As well as point transfer to a handheld computer and point finding in field conditions.