Title page for ETD etd-04092007-114034


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Temple, Joshua Heath
Author's Email Address jtemple@agcenter.lsu.edu
URN etd-04092007-114034
Title Evaluating Precision Agricultural Technologies in a Louisiana Cotton Insect Pest Management System
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Entomology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Billy Rogers Leonard Committee Chair
D. Keith Morris Committee Member
Eugene Burris Committee Member
Guy Boyd Padgett Committee Member
Keywords
  • prescription
  • aerial application
  • variable rate application
  • management zones
  • profit mapping
  • yield monitoring
  • spatially variable insecticide (SVI) application
  • tarnished plant bug
  • precision agriculture
  • integrated pest management
  • economic thresholds
  • cotton
Date of Defense 2007-03-27
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
A variable rate pesticide application system was developed and tested during 2001 for an agricultural aircraft in Louisiana. Using technology available to the agricultural aviation industry, a variable rate prescription of insecticide was successfully applied to a cotton field in 2002. These studies compared the efficacy and value of spatially variable insecticide (SVI) applications based on yield maps to the producer standard, whole-field broadcast treatments. Insecticide prescriptions were created from historical yield and production data. Treatments included whole-field broadcast sprays, yield-based SVI sprays, and profit-based SVI sprays. Twenty-two SVI applications were made to test fields from 2002-2005 using two aircraft equipped with on-board computer systems. SVI technologies reduced crop input costs for insect pest management, but did not significantly impact yield or crop profit within the conditions of these tests. Insecticide costs were reduced by $12 to $35 per hectare depending on the application frequency and SVI strategy. There was a 13% to 32% reduction in hectares treated in the SVI treatment strategies compared to the whole-field broadcast (producer standard). These studies showed that variable rate application of pesticides can be accomplished using an agricultural aircraft. Intra-field management zones for reducing crop inputs (insecticides) were developed from yield and profit maps. SVI prescriptions can allow producers to manage crop production costs by restricting inputs in Louisiana cotton fields.

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