Precision Agriculture
Curriculum Project

This unit was developed under the assumption that most schools would not have access to the sophisticated tools used in precision agriculture.  Therefore the activities make use of the web, computer programs that you can download for free, and activities that demonstrate PA techniques without the tools.  Teacher's that can gain access to PA technologies from the agricultural community or local colleges are encouraged to expand the activities beyond those suggested.  The teaching outline includes Web links for use by teachers and students as additional resources. 


Recommended Equipment: 
Teaching Outline 

1. Introduction to Precision Agriculture Technologies
2. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
3. Global Positioning System
4. Variable Rate Technology
5. Yield monitoring
6. Remote Sensing

An Overview of Precision Agriculture Technologies 
Activity # 1 -- An Arc Explorer Exercise 
Activity # 2a -- GPS Accuracy 
Activity # 2b -- GPS Accuracy 
Activity # 3 -- Measuring Field Variability 
Activity # 4 -- Multi-Spectral Imagery 
Activity # 5 -- Yield Data 
Activity # 6 -- Web Based Yield and Variable Rate Technology Activity 

Other Resources

GIS Data (Most files are in PK zip format, use WinZip to extract).  Layers are for the University Ag Lab (UAL) and in GCS-WGS84 unless otherwise noted.

Files Size Description
Map Layers 259 KB fields, county soils amp,  pumps, etc.
UAL Photo 1.5 MB Low resolution black and white
UAL Photo 23 MB High resolution black and white 
UAL Color Photo 5 MB Low resolution color
UAL Multi-spectral Images 10 MB 2 meter resolution
Veris Data 183 KB Veris data from Field 15.  See 
Soil View Data  144 KB A product based on IR sensing. See: 
UAL Multi-spectral   1 meter (in UTM).  False Color IR and NDVI.
Yield Maps   (Not UAL)

GPS Activity for Garmin Etrex GPS (can be adapted for other GPS units)

TerraServer Exercise (How to get and use images)

Veris Information Handout (About Veris soil EC sampling from their web site)

Emerging Technologies in Agriculture (lesson plans, see Precision Ag Mgt unit)

Precision Ag Curriculum for an introductory college course.  Includes links.

Excel application to simulate GPS readings at different accuracies. (download)


Arc Explorer (Free GIS Viewing Software 12MB), Arc Explorer Documentation (1.2MB) From ESRI.  ESRI provides support for K-12 programs.

Freeware tool for monitoring a serial port (Windows) from Creative Communication Consultant (download)

GARtrip.  Shareware tool for downloading waypoints from a Garmin Etrex. See for more information. (download)

ArcView Script for converting Etrex waypoints to SHP format from CA Department of Fish and Game.  (download)

HGIS.  Data collection software for Handheld computers (Windows CE).  Can be used with un-corrected GPS or DGPS.  Creates SHP files that can be read directly by Arc View or Arc Explorer.  Also has a PC version that can be used for training.  Demo version is free. 

This curriculum was developed  by  Mike Spiess and Amy Rocha.  It may be freely reproduced by agricultural teachers, but it may not be used commercially or sold without the specific permission of the authors.