Precision Agriculture, 3, 359–371, 2002
© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
Educational Resources for Precision Agriculture
RICHARD B. FERGUSON email@example.com
University of Nebraska, South Central Research & Extension Center, Clay Center, NE 68933
Abstract. As site-speciﬁc management evolved into precision agriculture and began to be adopted by produc-
ers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, information about precision agriculture emerged in a variety of forms.
Much of the information was initially available only in industry guides and popular press articles, such as
Successful Farming and FarmJournal. Today, a variety of educational resources for both producers and advi-
sors on precision agriculture has emerged, including books, proceedings of conferences, Extension bulletins,
newsletters, industry guides, and multimedia modules. Recently, the Internet has had a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on
the production and dissemination of information on precision agriculture. The Internet has been a particularly
valuable mode of information exchange due to the rapid evolution of technology and practices associated with
precision agriculture, and because many of the early adopters of precision agriculture technologies were also
early adopters of electronic communication technologies.
Keywords: precision agriculture, site-speciﬁc management, educational resources, variable rate technology
The traditional scholarly outlet for research has been the refereed journal, such as the Soil
Science Society of America Journal, Agronomy Journal,orTransactions of the American
Society of Agricultural Engineers. Research ﬁndings in the land-grant university system
are expected to be published in such journals. Research related to precision agriculture is
no exception, and there have begun to be a signiﬁcant number of refereed journal publica-
tions available in this area. However, the volume of refereed publications has been small
relative to publication in non-refereed outlets, such as proceedings and popular press
articles. This may be in part related to the rapid evolution of the enabling technologies
of precision agriculture—the global positioning system (GPS) and increasingly powerful
personal computers, and the pace of new information about precision agriculture. In any
event, the current scientiﬁc literature underpinning precision agriculture seems relatively
small compared to the level of interest manifested within the agricultural community.
The predominate scholarly outputs for research related to precision agriculture to
date have been conference proceedings. While these publications generally contain well-
researched information, they usually have not experienced peer review with the same
level of scrutiny as a refereed journal. The rapid pace of development in precision agri-
culture has resulted in conference proceedings serving as a primary means of commu-
nication, both among researchers and to advisors and, in some cases, producers. Good
examples of conference proceedings include those from the International Conference on
Precision Agriculture (1992, 1994, 1996, 1998) and the European Conference on Preci-
sion Agriculture (1997, 1999) (Table 1).