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Reducing Digging Losses by Using Automated Steering to Plant and Invert Peanuts

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Crop & Soil Sciences Department, University of Georgia, 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793-5766, USA
2
Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Auburn University, Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5412, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2014, 4(3), 337-348; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy4030337
Received: 20 March 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 4 July 2014
GPS guidance of farm machinery has been increasingly adopted by farmers because of the perceived gains in efficiency that it provides. In the southeastern USA one of the reasons farmers adopt GPS guidance, and specifically automated steering (auto-steer), is that it can theoretically result in large yield gains when used to plant and invert peanuts—one of the region’s most important crops. The goal of our study was to quantify the yield benefit of using real time kinematic (RTK)-based auto-steer to plant and invert peanuts under a variety of terrain conditions. Yield benefits result from reduced digging losses. The study was conducted for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011) on a private farm in Georgia, USA. When all data are grouped together, auto-steer outperformed conventional by 579 kg/ha in 2010 and 451 kg/ha in 2011. We also evaluated the performance of auto-steer under different curvature conditions using low, medium, and high curvature rows. The results showed that auto-steer outperformed conventional under all curvature by a minimum of 338 kg/ha. Finally, we evaluated passive implement guidance in combination with auto-steer and found that it holds tremendous potential for further reducing digging losses. In many cases, auto-steer will pay for itself within a year. View Full-Text
Keywords: GPS; auto-steer; RTK; planting; inverting; peanuts; yield benefit; passive implement guidance; digging losses GPS; auto-steer; RTK; planting; inverting; peanuts; yield benefit; passive implement guidance; digging losses
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Vellidis, G.; Ortiz, B.; Beasley, J.; Hill, R.; Henry, H.; Brannen, H. Reducing Digging Losses by Using Automated Steering to Plant and Invert Peanuts. Agronomy 2014, 4, 337-348.

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