Paper 1 - New Tools
Growers in New Jersey are facing major obstacles in maintaining profitability. New state and federal guidelines are placing more restrictions on the way growers can farm. Crop prices continue to fall, and land values and development pressure continue to rise. Those that stay in farming look toward Rutgers Cooperative Extension to implement new technologies to enhance their farming operations. Results from these demonstration projects suggest that GPS and its related technologies (GIS and RS) will continue to play a significant role in improving farm management practices in New Jersey. The demonstration programs in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) and watershed management are utilizing new technologies to 1) reduce fertilizer and pesticide costs 2) improve crop management 3) improve spray recommendations for pest control 4) monitor irrigation systems 5) monitor nutrient pollution to watersheds and perhaps most importantly 6) provide value-added information to growers to improve farm management and farm profits even on the finer spatial and temporal scales applicable to New Jersey agriculture.
Paper II - Wireworm
During the past six years, corn and potato crops in southern New Jersey have experienced frequent crop damage caused by wireworms. Bait traps and field observations show that damage is caused most often by Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal). To characterize the temporal and spatial distribution of these wireworms, two corn fields known to be infested were mapped using a real-time Trimble AgGPS Model 122 differential GPS unit. Site-specific sampling points were established in each field. Bait traps were placed at each sampling point in the fall of 1998 after the corn silage crops were harvested. Wireworm counts, soil temperature, soil compaction, and elevation readings were obtained at these sites. Too few wireworms were collected to draw any statistically significant relationships among soil temperature, soil compaction, and elevation. GPS/GIS technology is useful in tracking both the spatial and temporal distributions of wireworms and will play a significant role in addressing future wireworm problems for farmers.