Precision and Sustainable Agriculture with Dr. David Clay


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Precision Agriculture Basics with Dr. David Clay

Dr. David Clay, along with the precision agriculture community, are working like codebreakers to crack the secret to more efficient, more environmentally friendly farming. The key? Understanding variability.

Across any given farm field, there are many discrepancies in how given points of the field react to similar management practices. If farmers understand what causes those discrepancies, they can fine tune management in ways that can optimize fertilizer and pesticide use, inputs, and time. Getting this type of information used to mean extensive and costly soil sampling. Dr. Clay discusses how tech has made it possible to make great management decisions from data obtained miles above a farm.

  • Learn about this as well as:
  • What are the types of variability found in a field?
  • Why does topography affect yield?
  • How does the Dust Bowl impact us and the land today?
  • What is soil’s memory effect?
  • What are zone sampling and grid sampling? Why is the difference important?
  • How can one identify chlorophyll from miles away?

If you would like more information about this topic, Precision Agriculture Basics is available here:

Front Matter:

The first chapter will be freely available from 15 February to 1 March, 2019.

If you would like to find transcripts for this episode or sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website:

Contact us at or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to David, you can find him here: David.Clay@SDSTATE.EDU


CEU Quiz:

Precision Agriculture Basics:

Practical Mathematics for Precision Farming:

Precision Conservation: Geospatial Techniques for Agricultural and Natural Resources Conservation:

“Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities in the Precision Agriculture Workforce: An Industry Survey,” published in Natural Sciences Education:

The On-Farm Research Special Section in Agronomy Journal will be accepting submissions through 1 March, 2019 and will be published later in 2019. For more information about Agronomy Journal submissions, please see here:

You can sign up for alerts for new Agronomy Journal content here:

Sensor-Based Nutrient Management community:

Precision Agriculture Systems community:

Sensor-Based Water Management community:

Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

62 episodes