Planting field-scale research plots with the aid of gps-enabled assisted steering

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Field-scale research imposes logistical challenges to planting randomized treatment plots, even for simply designed field experiments. Planter row markers offer minimal assistance when planting randomly located strips of a treatment across a field. Accurately flagging or otherwise marking treatment plots before planting to facilitate accurate planting of the same requires time and labor during a time of the year when both resources are limited. The logistical challenges associated with marking field-scale plots are compounded with fields that are odd-shaped or have undulating topography. We successfully used an eight-row planter plus a tractor equipped with a commercially-available after-market GPS-enabled assisted steering system to facilitate the planting of randomized treatment plots with little to no field marking required before planting. This system simplifies the logistics of planting field-scale research trials and has proven to be acceptably accurate in pass-to-pass accuracies of the 'guess rows' between plots.

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