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Precision Agricultural-Landscape Modeling System


Norman, John M.
Norman, John M.
Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Tel:608/262-2633, Fax: 608/265-2595 e-mail: [email protected]

Molling Christine
Molling, Christine
Associate Researcher, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tel: 608/265-5350, e-mail: [email protected]

Vonderohe, Alan P.
Vonderohe, Alan P.
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tel: 608/262-9854, e-mail: [email protected]

Manchikanti, Kiran
Manchikanti, Kiran
Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Soil Science/Graduate Student,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mailing Address: 643 East Johnson Street, # 1, Madison, WI 53703 USA
Tel: 608/217-7985, e-mail: [email protected]

A better understanding of the phenomena associated with farming is important if we are to address issues like environmental impact of modern agricultural practices, scarce water resources, sustainable development, increasing yield, optimum use of resources, and developing rural economy (in some parts of world). In the current age of information, such understanding can be modeled with a variety of tools to provide better decisions; particularly, Geographic Information System (GIS), because spatial issues play a vital role in agricultural-landscape management.

The poster features an abstract version of the Precision Agricultural-Landscape Modeling System (PALMS). PALMS is being developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. PALMS, is a combination of two process-based models, which simulate the flow of heat, energy, water, and some chemicals through the air-plant-soil system. Processed-based means that the model uses equations that describe the physical processes at work in the system. Plant growth and development are modeled as a combination of process-based equations (for photosynthesis, respiration, stress) and empirical measures (developmental stage). Processes are connected horizontally across the landscape through runoff. The simulation computes soil moisture in a 3D subsurface space with topography, weather, crops, and management data inputs. PALMS outputs variables such as yield, evapotranspiration, nutrient uptake, runoff, soil temperature etc.

GIS integration is proposed to spatially enhance the PALMS. Spatially enhanced PALMS is expected to facilitate improved decision making by farmers, consultants, and to provide better research tools to scientists (qualitative and quantitative analyses with the help of maps, reports, tables, plots etc.)

Example spatial aspects that future versions of PALMS would deal with are,

  • Inputting 3D spatial data into PALMS and outputting results in dynamic geo-referenced space, i.e., on a temporal map (a map movie)
  • Computing the irrigation water requirements: i.e., answering “where and how much to irrigate?”
  • Computing surface run-off and nutrient loss (like phosphorous) into rivers, and other environmental impacts.
  • Optimizing irrigation water for maximum yield and minimum environmental impact: i.e., answering “where and how much to irrigate for maximum yield with minimal environmental impact (phosphorus loss into rivers through drainage)?”