Precision turfgrass management: challenges and field applications for mapping turfgrass soil and stress
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Spatial and temporal variation of soil, climate, plants and irrigation requirements are challenges for modern agriculture and complex turfgrass sites. Precision agriculture (PA) evolved to improve site-specific management based on obtaining site-specific information. The focus of this concept paper is on the emerging area of precision turfgrass management (PTM) with attention given to: (a) comparing the concepts of PTM and PA in terms of driving forces and challenges that must be addressed for PTM to progress in science and practice and (b) discussion of specific field mapping applications (purposes) for different turfgrass situations such as golf courses, sod production fields and sports fields. The field applications relate to site-specific management of irrigation, salinity, fertilizer application and cultivation. To illustrate the potential for PTM, different approaches that may be necessary for PTM compared to PA are discussed. The initial factor that hindered the adoption of PTM has been the lack of mobile sensor platforms that can determine both key soil and plant properties for turfgrass situations. This paper concentrates on PTM field applications that involve mapping of both soil and plant attributes, in contrast to only optical sensing mapping.