Introducing geographic information systems to grass seed growers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b5644w572

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  • Oregon is the number one producer of cool-season grass seed in the United States. The center of the grass seed industry of Oregon is located in the Willamette Valley, where about 470,000 acres of seed are grown. Innovative grass seed growers of the area are beginning to implement precision agriculture GIS and GPS technologies on their farms. Fertilizer and chemical companies provide precision agriculture consulting services, including soil nutrient and yield spatial field mapping, for growers. To help growers learn how to work with their spatial field data, a set of GIS lessons were created using ESRI’s ArcGIS 9.0. The lessons teach growers how to use GIS for managing, analyzing, and interpreting their site-specific field information. They were introduced to interested grass seed growers through a series of three workshop meetings in January and February 2005. During the meetings, participants completed evaluations to indicate their knowledge and skill of GIS and GPS before and after each meeting. From the evaluations, growers indicated they were interested in using GIS for investigating correlations between yield and soil nutrients and for creating prescription application maps. Therefore methods for investigating correlations and creating prescription maps were devised using both Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS 9.0. Finally, a specific task-based comparison of four different precision agriculture GIS software packages to ArcGIS 9.0 was completed to provide interested growers with information needed when evaluating software options available to them.
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