An IRRI Seminar
By Roland J. Buresh
Crop and Environmental Sciences Division, IRRI
1:15-2:15 p.m., Thursday, 3 April 2014
Havener Auditorium, IRRI
One aim of precision farming is to implement site-specific crop management by observing, calculating, and responding to crop needs, which vary in space and time across small distances. Researchers have been challenged to adapt, implement, and disseminate precision farming for small landholdings, which dominate production of rice and many other crops across Asia. Progress was made with the release of the Nutrient Manager for Rice, a web-based decision support tool that provides farmers with field-specific fertilizer recommendations. These have been derived from algorithms based on site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) developed and verified through a decade of research across Asia. The Nutrient Manager demonstrated an ability to implement precise farming in small landholdings through an initial farmer interview to ‘observe’ crop needs, cloud-computing to ‘calculate’ crop needs, and information and communications technology (ICT) to ‘respond’ to crop and farmer needs. End users however desired field-specific crop management advice, in addition to a fertilizer recommendation. This is now possible with the upgrade of the Nutrient Manager to the Crop Manager. The Rice Crop Manager was officially released in November 2013 through national agricultural research systems in Bangladesh and the Philippines, where it is now entering a phase of national dissemination. The Rice Crop Manager is also at various stages of development and testing prior to its official release in Indonesia, India, and Vietnam. The Crop Manager is being expanded to maize and rice-wheat cropping systems. It is now evolving into an agro-advisory service capable of facilitating precision farming across a cropping cycle in small landholdings and deploying information across a crop value chain.