DIFM (Data-Intensive Farm Management Program) uses precision agriculture technology, with researchers and farmers working together conducting large-scale, on-farm “checkerboard” field trials, gathering vast amounts of data on how crop yields respond to input application rates, field characteristics, and weather. DIFM is funded by a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. The goal of DIFM is to revolutionize farm management, working with farmers and crop consultants to implement scientific experiments on their own farms, enabling them to increase profits by making data-driven management decisions. The farmer conducted on-farm trials are part of a system that includes development of software that farmers and consultants can use to design and analyze data from their on-farm experiments.
This research was funded in part by a United States Department of Agriculture—National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA—NIFA) Food Security Program Grant, Award Number 2016-68004-24769.
This research was funded in part by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) –Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), Conservation Innovation Grants On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, Award Number USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CIGOFT-20-GEN0010750.
As part of a research effort to improve yield and protein of winter wheat for farmers in Montana, a variable rate application software was developed to generate experimental nitrogen trials. These experimental trials follow a random stratification strategy across the field.
The first step is to provide data regarding the field for which the experimental trial has to be created. This consists of a field name and four different .csv files (* indicates optional files):
If a field already exists, it can be selected from the dropdown menu. Users are only able to see the fields that they created/own, unless they have administrative privileges.
The yield and protein values from the previous step are used to determine which “bin” a specific grid cell belongs to. To decide the size of a single bin, two different strategies can be applied:
The resulting bins for each grid cell are then used to assign stratified experimental rates across the bins.
Grid shape information
The goal of DIFM is to revolutionize farm management, working with farmers and crop consultants to implement scientific experiments on their own farms, enabling them to increase profits by making data-driven management decisions. Farmers and consultants can use this tool to help design their on-farm experiments.
The first step is to provide data regarding the field for which the experimental trial has to be created. This consists of four different .shp files (.shp,.dbf,.shx,.prj), that give the boundary of your field.
Next, the input type is chosen that you would like to design your experiment for and rate information.
Type of Design
jcl (jump-conscious latin): Designs the Latin Square so that the rate will not go from the highest rate to the lowest rate. Specifically, does not allow for a jump of more than two rate levels.
ejca (extra jump conscious): Able to specify how much they want to restrict the jump in rates as the applicator is driving
Third, if you have them, can upload AB-Line .shp files (.shp,.dbf,.shx,.prj). If you do not have AB-line Files, one can be created by specifying what direction should your created AB-Line run.
Lock: trial design is created so that the plots are alined correctly to the very ab-line provided by the user. It is intended for those who use the ab-line when implementing the trial.
Free: Unlike the lock option, only the heading of the ab-line is extracted and then trial designs are created following the heading. This option creates an ab-line that is different from the one provided by the user.
Non: The same as Free, but does not output an ab-line
Next, enter in details about your experimental plots. Please see example plot below for a reference. Minimum and Maximum plot length can be entered in order to maximize the area.
Finally, information about your machine is then entered.
Once this is created, you will be able to view your map, and download shape files of the map.