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AFRI – FAS Engineering for Precision Crop and Water Management (A1551)
Program Area Priority: This program area priority focuses on engineered devices, technologies, sensors, and tools to provide precision crop and orchard management, technologies for targeted application of crop protection materials, and improve efficiency of irrigation and nutrient use in agricultural systems. Applications must have a significant engineering component. Engineering is defined as the application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and sustainable structures, technologies, sensors, machines, processes, and systems.
a. Develop and test the implementation of tools and precision technologies for monitoring, measurement, and detection in agricultural systems that may incorporate both drone and unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technologies.
b. Explore the use or development of advanced computational or engineering methods and technologies for navigation, mining, management, visualization, understanding, and communication of agricultural systems data pertaining to precision water and crop management.
c. Develop and improve precision engineering technologies that prevent disease spread/pathogens and invasive weeds in agricultural systems.
d. Develop systems or technology for sensing, automation and mechanization of laborintensive tasks in precision crop and water management.
e. Within potential topics presented herein, methods of breaking down technological barriers to adoption in integrated projects are welcomed.
f. For integrated projects that provide engineering solutions for conservation of energy and water resources in irrigation, emphasis areas (that can be combined) include, but are 74 not limited to:
- Packaged irrigation management solutions using smart sensing and model-based decision support systems that can be readily adopted by farmers on both small and large scales;
- Variable-rate and deficit irrigation management solutions that provide adaptive prescriptions and consider limitations of the water delivery system;
- Innovative sensing and control schemes for furrow irrigation;
- Combined water and nutrient management systems;
- Micro-irrigation designs and management practices that can be appropriately scaled to site-specific characteristics and end-user capabilities; and/or
- Decision support tools into easy-to-use irrigation mobile apps that integrate sitespecific weather, sensor, soil, and/or model-based data for decision-making.