Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rice growers turn to computer for advice, predictions

22.09.2010
Researchers in Beaumont share techno tools

Figuring out how a rice crop was faring used to be a head-scratching exercise with predictably unpredictable results.

But now a few punches on a keyboard can yield a pretty close forecast for a rice crop and tell a farmer what changes could improve the outcome at harvest.

The program, Rice Development Advisory, stems from extensive data collected over the years by researchers at the Texas AgriLife Research Center in Beaumont. They methodically accumulated reams of data in the course of studying and creating improved varieties of rice.

As technology improved, the researchers have been able to recrank the data into computerized programs useful to farmers in decision-making.

"It's a fairly old idea," said Dr. Ted Wilson, center director. "What we are doing now is a logical extension of previous methods where information had to be entered into a computer by hand. "We do a lot of work on how crops grow and how pests develop. The problem is that if you are compiling numbers for one location, it is not too hard. But when one has several locations, it's a logistical problem to keep track."

The team of rice researchers at the Beaumont center work with rice farmers in more than 20 Texas counties and collaborate with their counterparts in many other rice-producing countries.

Combining the collected data in a usable format has been the bailiwick of Dr. Yubin Yang, AgriLife Research biological systems analyst at Beaumont. He and the team of researchers have spent years building climatic and soil databases and devising programs to accurately predict rice development. He's done the same to develop other cropping system applications, such as a post-harvest grain management program and a rice water conservation analyzer.

Farmers are increasingly using the modeling software online and researchers around the world have drawn on the components pertaining to the climate, soil and weather, Yang said. He calls the databases collectively iAIMS, Integrated Agricultural Information and Management System. The entire package, including the cropping system software, can be found at http://beaumont.tamu.edu/eTools/eTools_default.htm.

"The obvious benefit would be planning for planting, irrigation, fertilizer application and harvesting," Yang said of farmer use. He and Wilson said about 300 Texas rice farmers and researchers have used the Rice Growth Development tool so far.

Though the databases were created with Texas rice research and farmers in mind, the data can be accessed globally, the researchers said.

"A person can access the data from anywhere, but it has the most application for U.S. rice-producing states," Yang said.

Wilson said a researcher working on any U.S. crop, not just rice, might use the climatic database to see how the growth pattern will be affected, for example.

He said that in addition to using the databases for farming decisions, the information can be used to help bioenergy companies decide where to locate.

"One of the uses might be to help determine where to locate a bioenergy facility based on the function of the land, what crops are grown in the area, how far the land is from major highways and other such factors," Wilson added.

He said the researchers are continually modifying and adding features to the databases and applications as situations and needs change.

He noted collaborations with scientists from other institutions, including one focusing on how to best control fireants with parasites and other pathogens. Another area under development is the Rice Water Conservation Analyzer which will allow predictions of water use which in turn will help researchers and landowners make decisions on conserving water.

To learn more about research at the Beaumont center, see http://beaumont.tamu.edu

Kathleen Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>