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$1.2 million grant to support Clemson precision agriculture cotton research

e practice of using remote-sensing, soil-sampling and information-management tools to optimize agricultural production.

One goal of precision agriculture is to improve the accuracy of production inputs, such as the application of water or chemicals to fields. Management using precision agriculture concepts is in contrast to whole-field or whole-farm management, where decisions are made based on general information and inputs are uniformly applied across the entire field or farm.

Ahmad Khalilian, a biosystems engineering professor at the Edisto Research and Education Center who will lead the research team, said that when a nematode problem is suspected, farmers usually apply a uniform rate of nematicides pesticides across the entire field, or in some cases across the entire farm.

However, nematodes are not uniformly distributed in fields, and there may be substantial acreage in most fields where nematodes are not present or are present at levels that would not economically justify the application of a nematicide. Applying a nematicide over an entire field can be costly and environmentally questionable.

"By providing growers a realistic means of focusing nematicide applications only where nematode control is needed within individual fields, farmers stand to significantly grow their profits and reap environmental benefits," Khalilian said.

The study aims to enhance crop yield while reducing nematicide usage by more than 75 percent compared to uniform-rate applications, Khalilian said.

Other key Clemson personnel who will work on the study include:

  • John Mueller, professor of nematology and plant pathology and director of the Edisto research center, who will be responsible for coordinating all nematode-related work.
  • Young Han, professor in the biosystems engineering department, who will assist in adaptation, modification and development of equipment and software.
  • Will Henderson, st

Contact: Ahmad Khalilian
Clemson University

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