With the constantly changing market in agriculture, farmers are looking for the best way to maximize profits and spend the least amount of money. Many different options have been explored from cutting out herbicide programs to reducing rates on chemicals and trying to hold on to equipment longer to make cost go down. However none of these have a very good ending. Precision agriculture is a hot topic and a fast growing industry; from auto guidance to completely autonomous tractors the precision agriculture industry has no end in sight. However does precision agriculture hold the answer to being able to spend less and produce or make more? Precision agriculture can be defined as the integration of information and production based farming system to achieve increased productivity while reducing the impact on the environment. GPS guidance systems on farm equipment help save money through reduced labor, fuel, and wear on equipment. GPS guidance also creates opportunities to implement new farming systems that can help increase yield potential while reducing costs, such as strip-till farming, can reduce impact on environment and make farmers more money. However incorrect implementation of a strip-till program can be detrimental to yields, therefore having the proper correct equipment is necessary to maximizing the benefits of strip-till. Variable rate planting and chemical application results in exact placement and volume of seed and chemicals can be used to maximize yields in all ground conditions. Reducing environmental impact is key to sustainability in agriculture. The scientific advances have allowed for many different farming practices to reduce the environmental impact. Farm planning can help choose exact acreage to be used for certain commodities or farming practices to ensure maximum profits and minimized costs. Planning equipment purchases to ensure maximum trade values and best equipment options is critical to having reliable machinery that gets the job done and continues to make profit for the farmer. With the future of precision agriculture our agriculture can be improved significantly.

Key words: farm planning, linear programing, precision agriculture, sustainability

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2017

Senior Project Advisor

Dr. Iin Handayani

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Agricultural Studies

Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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