PROJECTS

Estimating Actual Evapotranspiration by Integrating Data From Ground Measurements, UAVs & Modeling 

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Our group was recently awarded a 4 year USDA/NIFA grant to develop measurement techniques that allow estimating actual evapotranspiration rates from sweet corn and green beans fields through the integration of data from ground measurements, UAVs & modeling. A multidisciplinary team of scientists from UF and USGS will be involved in this project.

Findings from this project will allow developing effective strategies for the implementation of precision irrigation management practices that will not only conserve freshwater resources and increase crop productivity but also improve water quality and ensure environmental sustainability.  

Soil Health & Environmental Impacts of Saltwater Intrusion In Agricultural Areas & Mitigation Strategies

Our lab was recently awarded nearly half a million dollars in grants by USDA/NIFA to investigate the multifaceted impacts of soil salinity due to saltwater intrusion on soil hydrology and bio-physicochemical properties, greenhouse gas emission & nutrient leaching from agricultural soils. The project uses an integrated approach that includes column studies, landscape monitoring, and modeling. The project will also evaluate the effectiveness of different soil management strategies in mitigating the negative effects of salinity, including the application of engineered biochar, salt repelling hydrogel, gypsum, and organic mulch.

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Monitoring Crop Water Stress Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Precision Water Management

PI Bayabil was recently awarded the Early Career Scientist Seed Grant Award from UF/IFAS. The overarching goal of this project is to develop new irrigation scheduling methodologies based on crop water stress levels measured using drones equipped with thermal and multispectral sensors. Specific objectives of the project are:

  • Quantifying effects of irrigation scheduling methods and variable rate irrigation on water use efficiency of Sweet corn

  • Modeling Sweet corn yield and yield components different irrigation scheduling and variable-rate irrigation 

  • Evaluating the applicability of UAVs for irrigation scheduling based on crop water stress level

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