BOX 2-1 Linking Crops, Information Technology, and Decision Making


In the future, producers may use crop status data and predictive crop growth models to make more precise input and marketing decisions. Producers would like to monitor crop growth to more accurately determine crop irrigation, pesticide application, and harvesting schedules. Crop assessments have the potential to increase accuracy of yield estimates in advance of harvest. More precise harvest date and yield information could be useful at producer cooling facilities, processing plants, and in the marketplace. Processors want to optimize production and maintain efficiency by controlling the flow of raw commodities entering their plants. Many grocery stores need to arrange purchases of produce three weeks in advance of harvest and release advertisements prior to the harvest date. More accurate information on crop yields and harvest dates is important in markets where a consistent supply of commodities is necessary to meet consumer demand. It is likely that increased crop status information will impact decision making not only in a producer's operation, but throughout the food and delivery system.


By monitoring trends in vegetative growth, a producer may more accurately match production inputs to crop needs. Observed shifts in crop

Computer enhanced vegetation map of a cantaloupe field using aerial imaging technology.

SOURCE: Data acquired by RESOURCE 21 for Fordel, Inc., Mendota, California.

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