Precision variable equipment

Ajay Sharda, Aaron Franzen, David E. Clay, Joe D. Luck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


In precision agriculture, variable rate equipment is used to variably apply site-specific prescriptions. The information used to vary the rates can be based on maps created from scouting reports, yield monitor files, and remote sensing data. Different types of information are used for different problems. For example, to vary seeding rates, archived yield monitor data files may be used to build management zone seeding rate maps, whereas the collection and real-time processing of crop reflectance information may be used to vary in-season nitrogen rates. Regardless of the approach, all precision variable rate systems require the collection of accurate information, proper configuration of location and guidance systems, and calibration of equipment used to apply the treatments. Because the calculations used to determine the desired rate are of no concern to the equipment, all calculations must be checked for accuracy. The equipment will do what it is communicated by either the map-based prescription or the on-the-go sensor readings taken in the field. This chapter discusses opportunities for variable rate equipment, recent options for variably applying seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers, recent advances in variable rate equipment, the basic components of variable rate equipment, and future research needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrecision Agriculture Basics
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780891183679
ISBN (Print)9780891183662
StatePublished - Jun 8 2018


  • Dry fertilizer application
  • Liquid application
  • Map-based approaches
  • Precision farming
  • Precision variable equipment
  • Real-time sensing
  • Variable seeding rate systems
  • Variable treatments
  • Variable-rate irrigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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