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If you are a fellow researcher, extension agent, or farmer, then I think you will agree on four areas (besides hybrid and plant genetic development) that I deem as greatly needed to maintain and promote increased agriculture (05/01/2011):


4 Things Needed in Agriculture:

1) Wireless Internet Services in the Field: This type of system will allow the introduction of many new farming concepts that will greatly enhance the way farmers operate at one low price such as: Real-time vehicle monitor and tracking, Remotely piloted systems, Multiple vehicle ganging, Real-time weather monitoring, Seamless data transfers between computer, vehicles, guidance system, Easier data collection between multiple units, The real-time prediction and access to web solving and solution services, Real-time vehicle diagnostics, and whole host of other applications.

2) Real-Time Automated Soil Nutrient Sampling and Prediction: Soil and nutrient sampling is still the best way to predict what is needed in a field, but current systems are slow, expensive, and not widely practiced on any scale that is needed for accurate nutrient mapping and prescription generation. A real-time, accurate, very automated nutrient sampling system is needed to allow fields to be accurately and spatially sampled for the creation of nutrient prescription maps.

3) Movement of Water Resources: In times of extreme rainfall and drought, that seem to drastically change from year-to-year, we need better system/ideas to move large amounts of water around to areas that are in need, such as a national water distribution and resource system.

4) Environmental Control: Although a bit scary (like gene splicing and genetic manipulation) large scale environmental control would greatly help alleviate crop damage, better distribute water and temperature resources, and allow for more uniform crop production and growth. We currently plagued by areas that do not produce well because of harsh environmental conditions. This concept would bring greater stability to society.


New Information in the Machinery Sizing Chart (04/06/2011):

The machinery sizing chart now includes vertical tillage implements.  See machinery sizing page for details.


Machinery Sizing Chart Now Available as an Android App (03/25/2011):

The machinery sizing chart is now available as an “easy-to-use”  an Android App.  See the machinery sizing page for details.


WAAS Satellite Changes (08/01/2007):

WAAS satellites 122 and 134 were decommission in late July 2007 and two new satellites (135 and 138) were put up and commissioned in their place. Because of this change, some guidance systems and GPS units have to be upgraded to obtain the correction signals from these satellites (some units will work normally without any software additions and some won’t).  Please consult your manufacturers to determine if your unit needs upgrading. Usually just a simple software upgraded is needed. In some cases, optimize performance is achieved by telling the unit which satellite to lock onto (since the unit may jump back forth between the two satellites as signal strength changes with different antennae positions and orientations - such as when the tractor turns in the field). This setting is usually changeable in the software menu. Consult the manufacturer for the best position and fix (simple testing may also suffice for this setting in some situations).


WAAS Satellite Spins Out Into Space (06/11/2010):

One of the WAAS satellites lost communications with ground control and spun out into space. For this reason, some WAAS equipment may not be as accurate as before without a software or menu button change to the other satellite. See manufacturers for details.  A newer satellite will be put up later this year.



Kansas State University—Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department

Combine harvesting wheat. Many precision farming sensors are used to measure grain yield, soil parameters, and provide automatic guidance. These sensors increase production efficiency. In this picture, even though the monitor may be calibrated, it still may be under predicting the yield since the header is not running at full width.  Guidance systems and accurate adjustment of parameters will help prevent this problem and lead to higher field efficiencies.

Welcome to the Precision Farming and Mechanical Machinery website at Kansas State University’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department.

The purpose of this website is to allow users to see the precision farming work being done here at Kansas States Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. Feel free to browse and learn more about precision farming technologies for Kansas!

Randy Price, Ph.D.

Precision Farming Technology Specialist and Engineer


What is Precision Farming?

Precision Farming is a new technology that allows farmers to look at their fields more site specifically than before and apply inputs in a manner more specific than a blanket application.  This technology saves money while holding or enhancing yield output of the field. Environmental pollution is also be reduced using this method.  

This technology is currently coming of age and many new pieces of farm equipment are being offered with this capability. The biggest contributor to this technology is the GPS which allows the equipment and sensors to know where they are at. This technology will continue to grow until real-time sensors can adequately evaluate the soil and environmental conditions on-the-go as the implement is pulled through the soil providing the needed information to plant, fertilizer, and apply other inputs to obtain maximum yield for that parcel of land. Remote sensing may also be used for large land area evaluation.

Randy R. Price, Ph.D.

141 Seaton Hall

Manhattan, KS 66506

Phone: 785-532-2929

Fax: 785-532-6944



Precision Farming: Tomorrows Future Here Today!

Precision Agriculture: Tomorrows future here today