Improving Agricultural Practices Through Water-flow Modeling and Visualization

Date
2019-04-19
Authors
Jennings, Warren
Nylin, Riley
Koziel, Jacek
Pederson, Josh
Pollock, James
Chopra, Shweta
Koziel, Jacek
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Abstract

Current farming tools do not provide an easy solution for water-flow modeling or visualization; therefore, farmers are not aware of what happens in their fields following rainfall events.

Our client, Cedar Valley Innovation (CVI), is a small company owned and operated by Bob Recker out of Waterloo, IA. CVI has supported several projects related to water flow, erosion, and alternative planting in the past including "Row Crop Headland Management Economic Opportunity: Applicator Pathway” and "Alternative Sources of Accurate Agricultural Topography." Mr. Recker’s main focus is on improving the farmer’s triple bottom line of a sustainable income, feeding the world, and improving the soil for future generations. Because of this, his emphasis for this project is the need for farmers to take credit for the erosion and runoff that they see off of their fields instead of blaming their nearby fields. In past experiences, Mr. Recker has seen a void in technology to display water flow in a meaningful and easily understood manner for the farmers that he provides services to. Because of this, he has asked our group to help solve this problem with an effective software package that would allow for him to travel to the farmer and show them what is occurring in their fields following a rainfall event.

While there are several software that have begun to scratch the surface of this problem, our group has been asked to dig deeper and work with some of these companies to create an even stronger model. When a program has been made, CVI will have a useful tool to model water-flow in both agricultural fields as well as many other land use categories.

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