Using Precision Agriculture as a Tool to Enhance Weed Management

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1998-11-18
Authors
Johnson, Gregg
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Historically, the goal of agronomic research and associated technologies is to advance crop management strategies that maximize grain production and reduce economic risk on a field scale. We all realize and appreciated the impact that weeds have on our ability to meet these goals. It is, therefore, critical to have an effective short and long-term management plan to deal with weeds. Weed management decision making is a complex endeavor requiring integration of weed biology, environmental risks, labor needs, crop yield potential, efficacy of a given control measure, and economics (Buhler et al., 1996). Because of this complexity, we often choose risk-averse management strategies that rely on full-rate uniform application(s) of herbicide(s) to reduce risk of yield loss due to weeds. Some have argued that we are missing the opportunities presented by a more holistic vision using integrated strategies that increase the short and long-term efficiency of the entire crop production system (Drazkowski, 1997). In other words, we need to trade the comfort and security of maximization for optimization.

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