Yield maps in tree fruit production: an automatic system for implementing precision agriculture
Precision agriculture (PA) has been developed continuously over the last 30 years, reaching high levels of technological advancement and information management. Differential application of inputs according to spatial and temporal variability is a common practice for optimizing resources in extensive crops. This practice makes it possible to improve production and reduce environmental impact and costs. However, growers in intensive crops have not adopted PA mainly because there is little technological development, despite the numerous studies conducted on this subject. This paper presents a simple and patented method and system that allows the automatic generation of real-time, high-resolution yield maps for intensive crops. This could be the key to promoting the technological development that allows producers to adopt PA. Besides, this system includes automatic traceability and operation registers. This technology could be incorporated into platforms for manual harvest or into harvest trailers without affecting the work of the harvesters. The system was developed and improved while field tests were carried out. These tests were conducted using load cells, a GPS-RTK, RFID (radio frequency identification) systems, a panel-PC for concentration and visualization of the information, and a wireless communication system. During five seasons, yield maps were generated in a 'Bartlett' pear crop. Site-specific management zones were proposed through the analysis of these maps and measurements of other variables such as soil parameters and productive efficiency.
Benitez Piccini, E., Romitelli, M., Muñoz, Á., Muñoz, M., Fernandez, D., Curetti, M., Fonovich, P., Cabezas, F. and Magdalena, C. (2021). Yield maps in tree fruit production: an automatic system for implementing precision agriculture. Acta Hortic. 1303, 427-434
load cells, site-specific management, hand-harvested fruit, traceability, intensive crops